Mr Mark Chay: To ask the Minister for Culture, Community and Youth how does the Ministry ensure that safe distancing enforcement officers are accurately applying and enforcing the safe distancing measures in gyms, fitness centres and sports facilities.
Mr Edwin Tong, Minister for Culture, Community and Youth & Second Minister for Law:
- Safe distancing enforcement officers are appointed by the Minister for Health to enforce compliance with the prevailing safe management measures (SMMs) as stated in the COVID-19 (Temporary Measures) (Control Order) Regulations. They are authorised under the Infectious Diseases Act to issue warnings and fines, as well as prosecute individuals and businesses that breach the control order.
- All newly appointed enforcement officers are trained on their roles and responsibilities, and undergo a comprehensive briefing on the current control regulations before they are deployed. Enforcement officers are regularly updated on the SMMs, which include the rules of engagement with premises operators and members of the public. They are also provided timely updates and reference material via their mobile devices. Officers are deployed in teams of at least two persons, and a less experienced officer will be paired up with a more experienced one who can provide support and guidance.
- Since the start of the Circuit Breaker period last year, our enforcement officers have conducted more than 47,000 inspections, and provided advice to sport business operators and the public on SMMs. The vast majority of sport business operators have been compliant with the SMMs, and we are thankful for their cooperation. Operators who need additional clarification are encouraged to approach Sport Singapore.
- We understand that the different alert phases and rules have made implementation complex for some sport business operators. To facilitate the process and help operators, Sport Singapore has held townhalls and briefing sessions to better explain the regulations, as well as to hear and better appreciate the operational concerns on the ground. We will continue to engage the sporting community on the SMMs, and seek the community’s understanding and cooperation as we move towards becoming a COVID-resilient nation.