Singapore residents can each get two free reusable masks from Monday

The masks can be collected from any of the 1,200 vending machines.
The masks can be collected from any of the 1,200 vending machines.PHOTO: TEMASEK FOUNDATION

SINGAPORE - Residents of Singapore can each get two free reusable antimicrobial masks from Monday (June 29), thanks to Temasek Foundation.

These can be collected from Monday (June 29) 10am to 11.59pm on July 12 from any of some 1,200 vending machines at bus interchanges, community centres/clubs and residents' committee centres.

To collect the masks, you need to scan the barcode of your NRIC or any government-issued identification at these Temasek Foundation vending machines. Each identity barcode has a free quota of one mask kit with a pair of masks.

You can collect the kits on behalf of others by bringing along their identifications.

The news was announced on Thursday by Temasek Foundation, which supports programmes that uplift lives and communities in Singapore and beyond. The move complements earlier distributions of reusable masks by the Singapore Government.

The masks provided by Temasek Foundation have an outer antimicrobial layer and have been tested against various bacteria and viruses, with 94 per cent effectiveness against the Influenza A virus.

They are reusable and washable up to 30 times. A pair of masks will last up to two months, with a daily "wash one, wear one" usage.

Temasek Foundation is providing 11.4 million free masks. In addition, each person can buy up to five additional mask kits, at $8 per kit (against a recommended retail price of $13). The foundation says it has ample stock on hand and will work with its partners to meet demand and ensure timely top-ups.

You can visit this website to check the locations of the vending machines near your home and their stock availability. Those who wish to get more pairs of masks can go to this website or DBS PayLah to pre-order from 11am on Thursday till 11.59pm on July 11.

Payment may be done using DBS PayLah, PayNow, or major credit cards. A QR code will be generated for each successful transaction, and sent to the mobile number used for the order.

Buyers can collect the masks by scanning the QR code at the vending machines. Should the initial vending machine run out of stock, the balance order can be obtained from a different machine.

Direct sales or payment will not be available at the vending machines. 

Temasek Foundation said the reusable masks are the first in a series of products that may be distributed through the vending machines.

Its mask distribution exercise follows three earlier ones by the Government. The first was held in February, when all 1.3 million households in Singapore were each given a pack of four surgical masks. The second exercise in April saw residents receiving reusable masks. In the third exercise in late May, residents collected improved reusable masks with better protective qualities.