Coronavirus: All commuters have to wear masks on public transport, even after circuit breaker period, says Khaw Boon Wan

The authorities will get commuters to start wearing masks now when they are using public transport.
The authorities will get commuters to start wearing masks now when they are using public transport.PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - All commuters will soon need to wear masks on public transport to curb the spread of the coronavirus, even after the circuit breaker period, Transport Minister Khaw Boon Wan said in a Facebook post on Saturday (April 11).

"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 wrote.

He said that with the circuit breaker measures in place, trains and buses are not crowded and safe distancing is possible for commuters taking 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. I think a practical compromise is for all commuters to wear masks when they use public transport," Mr Khaw said.

To prepare for the new measure, the authorities will now get commuters to start wearing masks when they are using public transport. Transport ambassadors will remind them to do so.

Mr Khaw urged commuters who do not have a mask to go to their nearest community centre (CC) to collect it now, as Sunday is the last day for the Government's free reusable mask collection.

"But when you do, please don't loiter in CC. Collect your mask and go home. And stay home, please," he said.

Senior Minister of State for Transport Janil Puthucheary also said on Facebook on Saturday that safe distancing on public transport will be challenging once Singaporeans commute again after the circuit breaker.

“Be responsible, wear a mask - on public transport, at the market or when you’re out near people. Otherwise, stay home, stay safe,” he urged.