8 Britons fined $3,000 for breaching COVID-19 measures on yacht

·Senior Reporter
·3 min read
A photo of the group on a yacht. (PHOTO: Facebook/Bu Hui Yan)
A photo of the group on a yacht. (PHOTO: Facebook/Bu Hui Yan)

SINGAPORE — Eight Britons who were among a group of 10 people who breached COVID-19 rules at a party on board a yacht on 26 December last year were on Thursday (20 May) fined $3,000 each.

For five hours, the group on pleasure craft “Advant” failed to observe safe distancing and wear masks, and intermingled freely when they were supposed to be separated into two groups of five.

At the time, Singapore was in Phase 2 of its reopening after the circuit breaker due to the pandemic. Under the phase, a maximum of five people were allowed to gather socially. Phase 3, which allowed larger social gatherings of up to eight people, began on 28 December.

The eight culprits who were fined at the State Courts on Thursday are: Mark Alexander Bellamy, 29; Annabelle Morgan Duke, 26; Holmes Philip Edward Knatchbull, 27; Amy Alexandra Stewart, 32; Amy Georgina Hunt, 30; Oliver Francis William Campbell, 31; Thomas Cuthbert Williams-Jones, 30; and Benjamin David Waters, 32.

The Ministry of Manpower said on Thursday that they have all been banned from working here and their work passes had earlier also been cancelled by their employers.

The remaining two members of the group, Hong Konger and Singapore permanent resident Mark Lau San Mao, 30, and Briton Amy Grace Ropner, 28, were fined $3,000 each in March.

Ropner has also been banned from working in Singapore. The Immigration and Checkpoints Authority had said that it would shorten the validity of Lau's re-entry permit upon his next renewal.

About the case

Hunt contacted the operator of the craft, Beyond Luxury, in October last year to charter Advant for 10 people on 26 December, the court heard.

On 15 October, the operator sent a confirmation email for the 10 guests. The operator also sent a voyage pass setting out the booking details.

At around 11am on the day of the incident, the group met two crew members who gave them a pre-departure briefing, including instructions to keep to two groups of five, with one group kept to the front and the other to the back of the craft. They were told to wear their masks while onboard and not to intermingle between the two groups.

However, they failed to follow those instructions while onboard the Advant. When the yacht anchored off Lazarus Island, the group went into the water and did not wear masks after getting back on the vessel. They also did not keep to fixed groups.

The group was also seen partying by members of the public who filmed them. The videos were then shared on social media.

They were not charged for failing to wear masks.

The maximum penalty for breaching COVID-19 regulations is up to six month's jail and a fine of up to $10,000. 

Repeat offenders face a maximum punishment of up to a year in jail along with a fine of up to $20,000.

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