SINGAPORE (AP) — A British citizen was sentenced to two weeks in jail and fined 1,000 Singapore dollars ($753) on Friday for breaking a coronavirus quarantine order in Singapore.
Nigel Skea is the first Briton to be jailed for flouting coronavirus rules in the city-state. A handful had their work passes revoked and paid fines.
Skea left his room at The Ritz-Carlton, Millenia Singapore on three occasions last September, according to charge sheets. He wasn’t wearing a mask.
On one of the occasions, he climbed an emergency stairwell and entered a room that his Singaporean fiancée had booked. They spent nine hours together.
Skea, who pleaded guilty to two charges of flouting the rules, arrived at the State Courts on Friday with Agatha Maghesh Eyamalai, whom he has since married.
Eyamalai pleaded guilty to one charge of aiding Skea. She was sentenced to a week in jail.
District judge Jasvender Kaur said the sentences were meant to send a “clear message” that restrictions should be followed.
Most travelers have to stay in an assigned hotel room or at home for 14 days after arriving in Singapore under coronavirus quarantine rules. They receive meals and regularly record their temperatures.
“Every instance of non-compliance is a threat to public health,” Kaur said.
Skea and Eyamalai glanced at each other when the sentences were dealt.
Defense lawyer Dhillon Surinder Singh said his clients had mixed feelings about their sentences, but will not be appealing them.
“They want to finish off this matter and he wants to go back home as soon as possible,” Singh told reporters.
The couple had faced a sentence of up to six years in jail and a fine of 10,000 Singapore dollars ($7,538) on each charge.