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Updated as of 29 Aug 2022

Masks and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)


When must I wear a mask?

A:

From 29 August 2022, mask-wearing will only be required for persons who are 6 years old and above at healthcare facilities, residential care homes, and medical and public transport. 

Healthcare facilities and residential care homes:

Types

Is mask-wearing required?

Healthcare Facilities

Hospitals, national specialty centres, polyclinics, General Practitioner (GP) and dental clinics

Yes, upon entering indoor premises of the hospital, centre, polyclinic, or GP clinic

TCM, Specialist, GP or dental clinics located within a shopping mall or area

Yes, upon entering premises of the clinic

COVID-19 care facilities, testing centres and vaccination centres

Yes, upon entering indoor premises of the centre.

Retail & F&B establishments and common areas located within hospital buildings, national specialty centres, and polyclinics

Yes

Physiotherapy and other allied health clinics (e.g. speech therapy, occupational therapy, psychology & counselling services, nutritionist services) located outside hospitals

No

Non-residential community care services

(e.g. centre-based services, day care services, home care services, community mental health services)

No

Retail pharmacies located in a shopping mall

No

Retail establishments and areas in other buildings

No

Residential Care Homes

Nursing Homes, including inpatient hospices

Yes, upon entering indoor premises

Psychiatric Rehabilitation Homes

Psychiatric Sheltered Homes

Welfare Homes and Sheltered Homes for the Aged

Adult Disability Homes/ Disability Hostels

Medical Transport

Emergency Ambulances and Medical Transport vehicles

Yes, while in the vehicle


Public transport:

Types

Is mask-wearing required?

Services

Public Buses

(e.g. Buses operated by SBS Transit, SMRT Buses, Tower Transit, Go-Ahead)

Yes

 

MRT/ LRT services

Private bus services*

(e.g. school buses, company buses, shuttle buses)

No

However, passengers should check with private operators for additional service requirements.

Other train services*

Taxis / Private Hire Vehicles*

Premises

Public Buses

Boarding areas of indoor bus interchanges

Yes

Naturally ventilated bus interchanges

No

Retail areas in the premises of bus interchanges

No

MRTs/ LRTs

Boarding areas of underground train platforms

Yes

Retail areas in the premises of MRT or LRT stations

No

Commercial flights and ferries

Outbound commercial flights and ferries from Singapore to destinations that do not require mask-wearing onboard

No

Outbound commercial flights and ferries from Singapore to destinations that require mask-wearing onboard

Yes

Inbound commercial flights and ferries into Singapore from destinations that do not require mask wearing onboard

No

Inbound commercial flights and ferries into Singapore from destinations that require mask-wearing onboard for outbound journeys

Yes

Note: Transport operators may still require mask-wearing as part of company policy. Travellers are advised to check with their respective operator prior to their trip on whether the mask-wearing requirement applies for their trip.


Mask-wearing will be optional in other settings. However, persons are encouraged to exercise personal and social responsibility by continuing to wear their masks especially in crowded places, or when visiting or interacting with vulnerable persons, as masks reduce the expulsion and transmission of droplets, which is the predominant route of transmission of COVID-19 and other respiratory diseases. In particular, experts have advised that the elderly and immuno-compromised should continue to wear masks in crowded indoor settings to reduce their risk of catching any respiratory infections. Masks provide personal protection should there be contact with infected persons who have very mild symptoms or may not show any symptoms. 

Persons who are unwell with symptoms of COVID-19 infection, such as fever, cough or runny nose, should also wear a mask when they need to leave their homes. Otherwise, these individuals should continue to stay home and avoid going out.

 Why is mask-wearing required for healthcare facilities, residential care homes, medical and public transport?
A: Mask wearing is an effective way of minimizing the risk of disease transmission. Healthcare, residential care, medical and public transport are settings where essential services are carried out in enclosed and crowded areas, which are frequently used by vulnerable persons, and there is need for us to take extra precaution in these areas to ensure vulnerable persons remain protected.
 

What types of masks should we wear?

A:

Masks with good filtration capability are recommended. These include reusable masks that are made of at least 2 layers of fabrics, and surgical masks. Single-use masks would typically report their filtration efficiency as part of their product specifications. Reusable masks such as masks issued by the People’s Association and Temasek Foundation also have good filtration efficiency.

A mask should be worn such that it closely and completely covers the nose and mouth, with the mask touching the cheeks and chin (i.e. without leaving a gap between the mask and the face).


Masks with exhalation valves (usually visible as a raised disc on the front or side of the mask), have a decreased effect of preventing the release of droplets from the wearer during exhalation, even if it does provide protection against disease transmission to the wearer. The public, especially those who are unwell with respiratory symptoms (e.g. cough, runny nose), should not wear masks with valves as they may expose others to the risk of infection from droplets released through the valve.

The following specific groups of persons may use a face shield, in place of masks:

a)     Children 12 years and below, who may have difficulty wearing and keeping face masks on for a prolonged period of time; and
b)     Persons who have health conditions that may result in breathing or other medical difficulties when a mask is worn for a prolonged period of time;

A face shield must be worn properly so that it covers the entire face, from the forehead to below the chin, wrapping around the sides of the face.

Plastic spit guards predominantly cover the mouth and are not considered as face shields or masks.

Face coverings such as neck gaiters, bandannas, scarves or handkerchiefs are not considered as masks.

* Bacterial filtration efficiency is a measure of the degree of barrier protection provided by a material or fabric. This is often indicated on the packaging or product description of masks being sold.

 

Why are only specific groups allowed to wear face shields instead of masks? A face shield is more comfortable, and allows me to breathe more easily. Can I use a face shield instead of a mask?

A:

While a face shield provides a barrier over the wearer’s face, its design typically leaves a gap between the face shield and the wearer’s face. Masks that closely and completely cover the nose and mouth do not have such gaps. 

COVID-19 is spread predominantly through droplets, face masks instead of shields will be the default in settings where masks are required.

 

What will happen if I do not wear a mask when required?

A:

First-time offenders will be issued composition offers of $300, and repeat offenders will face higher fines or prosecution in court for egregious cases.

 

Must infants and young children wear a mask when in settings where masks are required?

A: 

Children of 6 years of age and above must wear a mask in settings where masks are required. If there is difficulty wearing and keeping face masks on for a prolonged period of time, children 12 years and below may use face shields in place of masks.

Mask-wearing is not recommended for children below the age of 2 years for child safety reasons.

Medical experts have also advised that some groups may have difficulties, including children with special needs and we will exercise flexibility in enforcement for these groups.

 

I tend to have shortness of breath and wearing a mask will make the problem worse. Can I be exempted?

A: 

If you have underlying conditions, you may be more vulnerable to serious COVID-19 infection.

To protect yourself and others, you are recommended to wear a mask in settings where masks are required.

Face shields could be used in situations where individuals have health conditions which may result in breathing or other medical difficulties when a mask is worn for a prolonged period of time.

 

Can I remove my mask to eat, drink, or take medication medication in settings where masks are required?

A:

Yes, you may do so, but you must immediately put your mask back on after eating, drinking or taking medication.


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