Temasek Foundation to give out reusable masks, hand sanitiser to S'pore households in March and April

The collection exercise will last for two weeks.
The collection exercise will last for two weeks.PHOTO: TEMASEK FOUNDATION/FACEBOOK
The collection exercise will last for two weeks.
The collection exercise will last for two weeks.PHOTO: HO CHING/FACEBOOK

SINGAPORE - Each Singapore household will soon be able to collect reusable masks and an alcohol-free hand sanitiser from March and April respectively, in yet another nationwide distribution by Temasek Foundation.

Some mask vending machines across the island have been restocked with a new navy-blue mask by Swiss hygiene company Livinguard, which can be collected by Singapore residents from March 1, said Temasek chief executive Ho Ching in a Facebook post last Friday (Feb 19).

The collection exercise will last for two weeks.

The new two-layer mask is made of a water-repellent antimicrobial layer on its outside, and an inner layer with an antibacterial treatment to kill bacteria from one's saliva, said Ms Ho.

It does not have to be washed after daily use and could instead be washed once to twice a week, she added.

With up to 30 washes, the mask can be used daily for around six to seven months, she said.

After 30 washes, it could still double up as an "outer mask", providing an extra seal of protection for those who wish to wear another mask on top of their surgical or reusable one. 

Ms Ho said this would offer better protection if there is an outbreak of more infectious variants from the UK, South Africa or Brazil.

The chin section of the mask is slightly elastic to provide a better fit and air seal. Its sizing differs from the Proshield masks given out in the previous mask distribution exercise in November.

Ms Ho advised people to re-check their mask sizes before collection as there will be no exchange or refunds due to hygiene reasons.

The Straits Times has contacted Livinguard for more information.

Mask vending machines at 20 community centres have also been moved to adjacent HDB blocks as the community centres are being used for the roll-out of national vaccinations, added Ms Ho.

Separately, Temasek Foundation will also be giving out 500ml of alcohol-free hand sanitisers from local company Klenco to each household, with distribution starting in mid-April as part of its second nationwide distribution drive.

Residents must bring their own recycled bottles, such as plastic and shampoo bottles, to collect the hand sanitisers from vending machines, along with their Singapore Power (SP) utility bills from March and April.

Both the paper bills and e-bills will contain a special QR code and a bill number, which can be keyed into the machine for collection.

Once this has been confirmed, #BYOB bottle stickers will be generated and residents will be able to collect the sanitisers from the machines.

This would allow households to collect in a "hassle-free" manner at any time, said Ms Ho.

More information on both initiatives will soon be available.