SINGAPORE: The wearing of masks will be made compulsory on public transport, Minister for Transport Khaw Boon Wan said in a Facebook post on Saturday (Apr 11).
Mr Khaw said the measure was needed to prevent transmission of the coronavirus when crowds return to buses and trains in the post "circuit breaker" period.
"With 'circuit breaker' measures in place, trains and buses are not crowded and safe distancing is possible for public transport.
"But when crowds return to buses and trains, safe distancing rules will push waiting crowds onto the platforms and outside of stations, with long queues. I can imagine impatient, and even angry commuters," Mr Khaw said.
"I think a practical compromise is for all commuters to wear masks when they use public transport. We will make mask-wearing compulsory for public transport.
"This will minimise transmission in public transport during (the post 'circuit breaker') period when safe distancing is compromised."
He added: "To prepare for this, we will get commuters to wear masks, NOW, when using public transport."
Mr Khaw said that transport ambassadors will be on hand to remind commuters to wear masks.
He also reminded those who have not collected their free reusable masks to do so at their nearest community centre by Sunday.
Previously, the Government advised masks to only be worn when a person was not feeling well. However in a speech last Friday, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said they will no longer discourage people from wearing masks.
The Singapore Food Agency (SFA) and National Environmental Agency (NEA) have also stepped up masks requirements for workers and people visiting the markets.
Starting from Monday, all workers who sell or prepare food and drinks will have to wear masks or face shields, said SFA.
Meanwhile, people not wearing face masks will not be allowed to enter the 40 markets managed by NEA or NEA-appointed operators starting from Sunday.