NEA: Geylang Bahru duck rice seller & wife at stall didn't wear masks properly twice in 1 day

The hawker and his wife, a stall assistant, were spotted not wearing their masks properly more than once.

Belmont Lay | December 08, 2021, 03:47 PM

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The National Environment Agency has responded to a report that a duck rice hawker in Singapore was issued a S$300 fine after he was caught with his mask off as he claimed he needed to taste the marinade he had made.

NEA response

In response to the media reports, NEA issued a statement to provide details regarding what happened on the day the alleged offence occurred at the Geylang Bahru Market and Food Centre.

NEA said:

On Nov. 14, 2021, five Safe Distancing Enforcement Officers (SDEOs) were deployed to the hawker centre at Block 69 Geylang Bahru. At about 12:30pm, two SDEOs from the National Environment Agency noticed that a man and a woman operating a duck rice stall had their masks below their nose. They were not eating or drinking.

Approximately an hour later, the SDEOs observed the same man and woman wearing their masks below the nose. Both the man and woman were not eating or drinking. The man was cutting cooked meat while the woman was serving patrons. The SDEOs approached the pair to inform that they had breached safe management measures by improper wearing of masks, and NEA would take enforcement action against them.


The duck rice hawker claimed he was behind the counter chopping duck meat while his wife was attending to customers that day.

There were about 20 people in the queue at his stall, the hawker said.

As he saw the sauce served with his dishes running low, he reached over to the new batch and removed his mask to give the marinade a taste before serving it.

But after that happened, safe distancing ambassadors showed up and asked for his personal particulars.

The pair of safe distancing ambassadors were then joined by three others.

As there were customers queuing and worried that his business might be suspended, the hawker said he could only follow the instructions at the time and hoped to explain himself later.

The day after the incident, the hawker contacted the authorities to explain if he could be let off the hook, but was unsuccessful.

He claimed he took off his mask for less than 10 seconds.

He added that he thought he would just be given a warning, and did not expect to receive a S$300 fine.

The hawker said a week before receiving the fine, a safe distancing ambassador did remind him and his wife to wear masks when preparing food.

But on the day of the incident, the safe distancing ambassador proceeded to catch the couple and a fine resulted without a verbal warning.

This series of events corroborates with NEA's statement as the safe distancing ambassadors did not approach the hawker and his wife the first time they were seen not wearing their masks properly.

Top photos via Shin Min Daily News & Unsplash

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