Minister for National Development Lawrence Wong announced on Tuesday that it is now compulsory to wear masks when stepping out of the house. This requirement will take effect immediately, said the minister at the multi-ministry task force press conference.
Those who are caught refusing to wear a mask will be fined SGD 300 for a first offence, while those who flout the rule a second time will be fined SGD 1000. Continuous refusal to wear a mask will result in prosecution in court, said the minister.
Foreign residents who do follow this rule can have their work passes or permanent resident status revoked.
“Now that we have distributed the mask to everyone and generally people have started to adjust to the new requirements or the advisory, we are making it mandatory for all,” said minister Wong. “The minute you leave your room, or you leave your house, you have to wear a mask when you go out.”
Exceptions include children below the age of two, who do not need to wear a mask based on recommendations by medical experts. Adults who are engaging in strenuous exercises like running and jogging do not have to wear a mask. However, they are required to put on the mask as soon as they finish exercising.
Minister Wong also emphasised the need to continue to limit going out and maintaining distance from others.
“Please do not use this mask-wearing requirement now to say ‘ok, I can go out’," he said. “You should not go out as much as possible. Just stay at home. Do all the right things - practice good hand hygiene and stay at home as much as possible.”