A BRIT has been jailed for two weeks for sneaking up a Singapore hotel fire escape while in quarantine to see his fiancée.
Nigel Skea, 52, pleaded guilty after he was caught by hotel staff returning from spending the night with Agatha Maghesh Eyamalai, 39, who had booked a room in the hotel.
Skea left his room at the five-star Ritz-Carlton, Millenia Singapore hotel three times in September, to meet his then fiancee, who is now his wife.
Eyamalai pleaded guilty to one charge of aiding her partner and was jailed for a week.
The court was told Skea, who was not wearing a face mask according to the country’s rules, climbed a fire escape in a bid to enter his fiancee’s room.
Under the current quarantine rules in Singapore, travellers are required to stay in an assigned hotel room or at home for 14 days.
Skea arrived in September from London to visit Eyamalai and was ordered to undergo a mandatory, two-week quarantine at the hotel.
He texted Eyamalai details of where he was staying and she booked a separate room at the same hotel, 13 floors higher.
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, but a security guard caught him the next morning as he tried to return to his own room.
He could not access his floor via the emergency staircase, so he had to walk down to the fourth floor, where he was spotted.
Skea, who pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing, was also fined £540 by judge Jasvender Kaur.
Passing sentence, she said the couple had been “overcome with emotions because they had not seen each other for a long time”.
But she said disruptions to relationships were inevitable during the pandemic, and the court must send a “clear message” such violations could not be tolerated.
Defence lawyer Dhillon Surinder Singh, had asked for a fine or a one-week jail term “to give him a slap on a wrist”.
He said they won’t be appealing against their sentences as “they want to finish this matter, and he wants to go back home as soon as possible”.
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 particularly successful in tackling the pandemic thanks to a strict lockdown that ended in June, reporting nearly 60,000 cases with 29 deaths.
Wearing a facemask is compulsory outside, alcohol is banned in bars and restaurants after 10:30pm and groups of up to eight people are allowed to meet.
Entering the country is also quite limited as mainly citizens and permanent residents are allowed.