Singaporeans: When Do I Need To Wear A Mask In The Car?
As Singaporeans adjust to a new normal, face masks have become an essential part of our daily lives in an effort to slow the spread of the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. If you are back behind the wheel, you would have noticed that it is a common sight for other drivers to be sporting face masks too. Which brings up the question – Should I be wearing a mask while driving my car?
First, let’s deliberate about the importance of wearing a mask inside your car. In accordance with Ministry of Health (MOH), Singaporeans who are traveling alone, or with members from the same household, are not obliged to wear a mask. The rationale behind this is that cars are recognized as an extension of your home: Since you interact with your family members without wearing a mask at home, the same practice applies to your car.
However, we still recommend having a spare face mask, a bottle of sanitizer, and several antibacterial wipes with you in the event that you have to step out of your car for a grocery run or to pump petrol.
Whereas for the private-hire industry, drivers and passengers are required to wear a mask as it enforces higher safety, hygiene standards, and protects the next passenger who might be getting into the car after. Those who fail to comply with the updated regulations will be issued composition offers of $300, while repeated offenders will face higher fines or prosecution in court for egregious cases.
Evidently, the seriousness of the coronavirus pandemic, with about 55,292 (10 August) confirmed cases in Singapore to date, has prompted the government to impose an obligation of wearing face masks to prevent further transmission of the virus. That said, using the right one is crucial.
A tight-fitted mask might alter your blood chemistry, which could severely affect your consciousness when worn over a long period. So, if you feel like a mask will impair your ability to operate a motor vehicle, we advise wearing a less restrictive surgical or cloth mask. Besides, the government has also distributed reusable masks for all Singapore residents so you can leave those surgical masks and N95 respirators for frontline staff and healthcare workers who face COVID-19 patients head-on every day.
By: TAN EN LI