Cover Photo: Mika Baumeister/ Unsplash

The government has made it mandatory to wear face masks on public transport and in crowded public spaces beginning Aug 1

What is the definition of crowded? Why were people fined for not wearing face masks in their own vehicles? Amidst the confusion, we did our own digging and here's what we have found:

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Face masks and social distancing

Like Tom & Jerry, they come as a package. Wearing a face mask does not negate the equally important requirement to physically distance yourself at least 1m apart from others. 

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Face masks are not compulsory in private vehicles

To everyone's relief, all fines issued to mask-less road users in their own private vehicles will either be cancelled or refunded. In a recent press conference clarifying the mandatory face mask requirement, only public transport users are required to wear face masks. These include buses, trains (LRT, ERL, etc), taxis and e-hailing services.

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Face masks are compulsory at social events

Be it birthday parties, wedding receptions or reunions, both guests and hosts are required to wear face masks. This requirement issued by the National Security Council also extend to the servers.

Face masks are compulsory at crowded spaces

An extensive diagram has been posted on the National Security Council's Facebook page listing the places where the wearing of face masks is mandatory. These include places of worship, markets, hair salons, and shopping malls. Conversely, where ample room is available and physical distancing can be practised such as at football fields, face masks will not be compulsory.

Other face mask requirements include:

  • Face masks are not compulsory while doing physical exercise.
  • Children under 2 are not required to wear face masks.
  • Those who have a cough, runny nose or sore throat are required to wear face masks.
  • Face masks do not double as chin guards, so please wear them properly, making sure that both mouth and nose are covered.

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