Published: 03 August 2021
Miss Cheng Li Hui: To ask the Minister for Home Affairs in the recent operation to shut down F&B businesses that pivoted from nightlife establishments (a) how many have been mistakenly placed on the list of such businesses when they are in fact new owners who merely took over the venue; (b) what is the reason for the lack of data synchronisation; and (c) how will the police prevent such incidents from happening for future operations.
1. There are currently over 400 nightlife establishments, for example, karaoke outlets and nightclubs, that have temporarily pivoted to food and beverage (F&B) businesses (“pivoted establishments”). They were required to suspend operations from 16 July 2021 to break community transmission from the cluster of COVID-19 cases involving these establishments.
2. On 16 July, after the suspension was announced, Police were conducting regular enforcement operations and had erroneously advised nine F&B establishments to cease their operations. Unknown to the officers at that point in time, these establishments were not considered pivoted establishments as they had permanently changed their land use. Upon realising the error, Police immediately notified the operators and apologised.
3. Due to the urgency to break community transmission, agencies involved in the administration and enforcement of the pivot scheme had to move quickly to suspend the operations of all pivoted establishments at short notice. This resulted in some miscoordination. Agencies have since tightened coordination to prevent future occurrences.