Briton Broke Singapore COVID Rules with Hotel Tryst

Feb 15, 2021 | Europe, GOV, HEALTH, NEWS, Singapore

by AFP

Briton Nigel Skea and his Singaporean wife Agatha Maghesh Eyamalai at the State Court in Singapore

A British man pleaded guilty Monday to violating Singapore’s strict coronavirus rules by having a tryst with his fiancee at a luxury hotel while under quarantine.

Prosecutors are seeking four weeks in prison and a fine of Sg$1,000 (US$750) for Nigel Skea — less than the maximum six months jail term allowed.

The 52-year-old arrived in September from London to visit his then-fiancee, Singaporean Agatha Maghesh Eyamalai, and was ordered to quarantine for two weeks at the hotel.

On arrival, Skea texted Eyamalai, 39, details of where he was staying and booked a separate room for her at the same hotel, 13 floors higher, prosecutors said.

He then sneaked out of his room and walked up the emergency staircase to the 27th floor where Eyamalai, who was not under quarantine, opened the emergency exit door for him.

The pair spent the night together.

Skea tried to return to his room but could not access his floor via the emergency staircase, so he walked further down to the fourth floor where he was stopped by a security guard.

He was also not wearing a mask, another violation of virus rules.

Prosecutor Kenneth Kee said the Briton had exposed “others to the risk of infection” by his actions.

He will be sentenced on February 26.

Eyamalai, who married Skea in November, pleaded guilty to helping him.

Authorities in the city-state have been uncompromising when it comes to those breaking virus rules, and some foreigners have had their work permits revoked.

Singapore has been relatively mildly affected by the pandemic, reporting nearly 60,000 cases with 29 deaths.