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Singapore tightens face mask rule

Singapore's health ministry has mandated the use of face masks which touch the nose, cheeks and chin and fit tightly without leaving a gap.

Staff Writers
1 minute read
Victoria recorded just 14 new infections to Sunday morning. Photo: Pexels
Victoria recorded just 14 new infections to Sunday morning. Photo: Pexels

You can no longer use your favourite bandana, scarf or cushion cover as your own personal fashion statement mask in Singapore

The republic’s health ministry now defines an acceptable mask as “any paper or textile covering designed or made to be worn over the nose and mouth to provide the wearer protection against infections or air pollution but excludes a face shield”.

Which means your mask must be an actual mask, not scraps of cloth or old shorts found under the bed.

The previous legislation merely stated that a mask needed to touch the wearer’s nose and cheeks. A mask is now also required to touch not only the wearer’s nose and cheeks but the chin as well.

And it should be nice and tight.

“A mask should be worn such that it closely and completely covers the wearer’s nose and mouth, without leaving a gap between the mask and the face,” the ministry stated.

A study published in the US in August examined 15 types of masks and found that wearing a single layer neck gaiter made of 92% polyester and 8% spandex is actually worse than not wearing a mask at all.

So, while your neck gaiter may look cool, don’t expect it to save your life.

The revised regulations are currently being enforced and were in response to an incident where a bus driver refused to allow a man wearing a neck gaiter to board.

Anyone caught not wearing an approved mask can be fined S$300.