Authorities advise people to observe COVID-19 measures, enjoy festive period in responsible manner


SINGAPORE: Members of the public should continue to be socially responsible and take COVID-19 safe management measures seriously during the festive period, the Ministry of Sustainability and the Environment said on Thursday (Dec 24).

“We must not become complacent and must continue to remain vigilant; otherwise, our individual and collective sacrifices over the past year will be in vain,” said the ministry.

MSE reminded members of the public to not intermingle between groups and tables when dining at food and beverage outlets. 

The current group size limit of five people will apply until Dec 27 and large groups should not be split into multiple tables unless all members are from the same household.

READ: Zam Zam, some Punggol container park restaurants among 16 fined for breaching COVID-19 measures

READ: COVID-19: More safe management enforcement checks at F&B outlets during festive period

Diners must wear their masks while waiting for their food and drinks to arrive and put their masks on immediately after they finish eating and drinking.

“Do remind those around you to do the same. This will protect you as dining out is an activity that involves considerable risks,” said MSE.

Members of the public were also advised to avoid visiting shopping malls, supermarkets, post offices and stadiums during peak hours.

At beaches or parks, individuals should not gather in groups of more than five and must ensure they are a safe distance from other groups. The latest updates on visitorship levels and temporary closures for gardens, parks and nature reserves managed by the National Parks Board can be found online. 

Those who wish to visit Sentosa’s beaches on Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays must reserve entry and can do so up to five days before their visit.

For households celebrating the holidays at home, visitors must be kept to a maximum of five people. The current group size limit will apply until Phase 3 takes effect.

“While many may wish to meet up with family and friends, or visit popular areas for shopping or dining out, we urge everyone to avoid visiting in large groups and to adhere to the prevailing safe management measures,” said MSE.

COVID-19: Social gatherings of up to 8 people allowed from Dec 28, further reopening of activities in Phase 3

READ: 5 things to know before visiting bars under COVID-19 nightlife pilot

MSE said that safe distancing ambassadors and enforcement officers will continue to be deployed across the island to remind the public to adhere to COVID-19 guidelines.

The Government will also not hesitate to take strong enforcement action against those who treat safe management measures with “flagrant disregard”.

“A resurgence of infections as seen in other countries would have devastating effects on lives and livelihoods in Singapore. The cooperation of individuals and businesses will help to safeguard public health, while allowing businesses to remain open. Together, our collective efforts will determine if we can successfully make the transition to Phase 3 and to a new normal,” the ministry said.

PUBLIC ADVISED TO BE VIGILANT

Separately, the police on Thursday advised the public to be vigilant against molesters, pickpockets and thieves during this festive period.

The police said they will conduct “enhanced” patrols and enforcement checks at popular areas like Orchard Road, Clarke Quay and Marina Bay.

“The public is reminded to be considerate and avoid engaging in activities and/or use of party novelty items, including aerosol foam sprays, that may annoy or compromise the safety of others,” added the police.

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Maharashtra ministers observe Karnataka Formation Day as ‘black day’


Marathi-speaking people from the Karnataka border region also observed the black day in Mumbai by sporting black ribbons

Mumbai: Maharashtra Cabinet ministers on Sunday sported black ribbons to express solidarity with Belgaum’s Marathi-speaking people, who observed November 1, the foundation day of Karnataka, as ‘black day’. They expressed confidence that the Marathi-dominated Belgaum and other areas along the Karnataka border would soon be part of Maharashtra.

Marathi-speaking people from the Karnataka border region also observed the black day in Mumbai by sporting black ribbons. They held protests demanding the merger of 865 villages in Karnataka with Maharashtra. They also raised slogans like “Rahenge to Maharashtra mein, nahi to Jail mein (We will prefer to live either in Maharashtra or in jail.)”

 

The Marathi-speaking people living in Belgaum, Nipani, Karwar, Bidar, Bhalki and other areas in Karnataka have been demanding that their areas should be merged with Maharashtra. The dispute between the two states over these border areas is pending before the Supreme Court.

Maharashtra Water Resources Minister and state NCP president Jayant Patil sported a black ribbon on his arm, whereas State Urban Development Minister and Shiv Sena leader Eknath Shinde released black balloons in Thane.

“Atrocities against Marathi-speaking people by Karnataka are continuing even though the case is pending in the Supreme Court,” Patil said.

State Rural Development Minister Hasan Mushrif from the NCP reacted strongly to the claims of Karnataka Deputy Chief Minister Laxman Savadi that Belgaum will continue to be a part of Karnataka till the sun and moon exist. “Leave sun and moon, Belgaum will be the part of Maharashtra even before your tenure ends,” retorted Mushrif.

 

Ministers Eknath Shinde and Chhagan Bhujbal, who are appointed as co- coordinators to oversee the Maharashtra government’s efforts to expedite the case related to the boundary dispute, assured the Marathi-speaking people in the border areas that the Maharashtra government is firmly behind them. In a letter to Marathi people of Karnataka, they said the Maharashtra government is committed towards the education, social justice, conservation of Marathi language and other issues of people in Marathi-speaking areas along the border.

“We both are small soldiers of this movement to include these areas into Maharashtra which is indebted to the sacrifice and courage of the local Marathi population. Maharashtra considers everyone in the border areas who speaks Marathi irrespective of his/her caste, creed and religion as its own,” the ministers said.

 

“The inclusion of the Marathi-speaking areas into Maharashtra will be a dream come true for the 12 crore population in the state. Till that historic moment turns into a reality, Maharashtra would continue to remain in solidarity with the Marathi-speaking people in the border areas,” they added.



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