People face six months in jail for STANDING next to someone under tough new coronavirus laws in Singapore
- Singapore has reported almost 700 cases of coronavirus and two deaths
- City has imposed tough social distancing measures including closing bars
- New rules mean people can now be jailed for standing too close to each other
- Restaurants must also enforce 3ft distance between customers to stay open
- Coronavirus symptoms: what are they and should you see a doctor?
Singaporeans could be jailed for six months if they intentionally stand close to someone else, under tough new rules announced Friday to halt the spread of the coronavirus.
The city-state has introduced a series of new measures to tackle the virus, including closing bars and cinemas as well as banning large events.
One step aimed at ensuring ‘social-distancing’ – a key approach being used worldwide to halt the spread of the contagious disease – is a ban on individuals standing less than one metre (three feet) apart in certain settings.
Singaporeans could be fined £6,000 or jailed for up to six months for standing within three feet of each-other as part of strict measures to stop coronavirus spreading
In order to stay open, businesses must also enforce strict social distancing limits on customers (pictured, a cafe with marks on the floor showing people were to stand)
People are barred from intentionally standing too close to someone else in a queue, or sitting on a seat less than one metre from another individual in a public place, according to the regulations.
Those found guilty of breaking the rules face a jail term of up to six months and a maximum fine of Sg$10,000 (US$7,000).
Business owners are also required to take steps such as putting seats not fixed to the ground at least one metre apart, and making sure that people keep their distance when queueing.
They face the same punishments if found to have broken the rules.
People are also barred from sitting on tables less than 3ft apart, while all bars and karaoke venues have been ordered to close
Singapore, known for having a low crime rate and a tough approach to law and order, introduced stricter curbs after a spike in infections being brought in from overseas.
The health ministry said earlier this week that ‘we must implement tighter safe distancing measures now to minimise activities and exposure’.
The city-state has reported 683 virus infections and two deaths, but has won praise for its approach and has so far avoided going into a total lockdown.
The rapidly spreading pandemic has infected over half a million people worldwide and killed more than 23,000.