First day of new reusable mask distribution for Singapore residents mostly a breeze

People collecting new reusable face masks at a vending machine in the Toa Payoh Bus Interchange on the first day of distribution by Temasek Foundation yesterday. Each person is entitled to one free mask kit, which contains a pair of reusable masks an
People collecting new reusable face masks at a vending machine in the Toa Payoh Bus Interchange on the first day of distribution by Temasek Foundation.ST PHOTO: KUA CHEE SIONG
People collecting masks at Toa Payoh Bus Interchange on Nov 30, 2020.
People collecting masks at Toa Payoh Bus Interchange on Nov 30, 2020.ST PHOTO: KUA CHEE SIONG

SINGAPORE - Collecting the new reusable face masks was a smooth process for many Singapore residents on the first day of distribution by Temasek Foundation on Monday (Nov 30).

Those whom The Straits Times spoke to said the vending machines were easy to use, as they simply had to select their mask size, and scan their identification card for redemption.

Each person is entitled to one free mask kit, which contains a pair of reusable masks and three mask filters.

A total of 1,200 vending machines are located islandwide, with collection points at more than 800 locations, including bus interchanges, community centres and resident committee centres, as well as Temasek Shophouse and Plaza Singapura, in this third round of mask distribution by the foundation.

When ST visited Chong Pang Community Centre and Nee Soon Central Community Centre on Monday morning, there were small queues of five to six groups of people at each vending machine.

Staff and volunteers were also deployed at most locations islandwide to help users select the correct mask sizes.

The masks are available in four sizes - small, medium, large and extra large - with the small ones intended for children under eight.

A resident who wanted to be known only as Mr Goh, 67, who collected a large mask for himself at Chong Pang Community Centre, said that having staff around helped him to select his size more accurately.

Another resident, who declined to be named, was collecting masks for herself and her daughter.

Kaysha Zulaikha, five, collecting masks with her siblings at the Bukit Panjang Community Centre yesterday. The masks are available in four sizes - small, medium, large and extra large - with the small ones intended for children under eight.
Kaysha Zulaikha, five, collecting masks with her siblings at the Bukit Panjang Community Centre on Nov 30, 2020. PHOTO: NG SOR LUAN

"I didn't have any issues determining the size of the masks, as I often buy masks for the family, so I have a good gauge of what to get," she said.

The girl said she had selected medium-sized masks for herself instead of the small ones, as her mother had suggested that they save them for future use, when their current ones get worn out.

Ms Angela Koh, 61, who works in procurement, was collecting masks for herself and her mother-in-law at Hwi Yoh Community Centre.

She felt this round of mask distribution was timely, and she hoped the masks would be as comfortable as the previous ones given out by the foundation.

"I have been using the masks given out by Temasek in the previous round of distribution, which have got loose from frequent washing, so it is time for a change," she said.

She picked an L-sized mask for herself as its measurements were close to the medium-sized ones, but could cover a larger area of her face, especially at the chin.

However, some faced difficulties picking the correct size for their family members.

A 56-year-old human resource consultant who gave her name as Ms Low collected a medium-sized mask for her mother at Marine Parade Community Centre. She said she found the mask was loose, even after using the measurement guide for reference.

"My mum's face is very small, so the mask slips down when she talks," she said.

The mask distribution exercise will end on Dec 13. More information can be found at this website.