Coronavirus: Food handlers will be required to wear masks

All workers handling food will now have to wear face masks, while food delivery riders may also be required to wear face masks during work.
All workers handling food will now have to wear face masks, while food delivery riders may also be required to wear face masks during work.PHOTO: ST FILE

All workers handling food will now have to wear face masks.

Other workers, such as food delivery riders, may also be required to wear face masks during work, Minister for National Development Lawrence Wong said during a virtual press conference yesterday.

Mr Wong, who co-chairs the task force combating the spread of the coronavirus, was responding to a query on whether it will be made compulsory for everyone to wear face masks.

"We will want to make it mandatory in certain circumstances. And so we are already requiring food handlers to wear a mask," he said.

"You may not see it now but that requirement has been put in place and we are giving some time for the food handlers to adjust. But very soon, all of them will be required to wear a mask."

Mr Wong did not commit to a widespread requirement that everybody be required to do so, but said that the task force is looking at other circumstances and instances in which wearing of masks could be made mandatory.

"But again, we are guided by evidence and scientific advice on our overall mask policy."

Mr Wong also reiterated that people who are heading out for essential activities should wear a mask if they cannot avoid close contact with others.

 
 
 
 

Separately, supermarket chain FairPrice said yesterday that it has instructed its staff to wear a mask during the course of their work at all its outlets. It said this is in line with the Health Ministry's latest approach of encouraging people to wear masks.

The Government had last week revised its stance on face masks. It had previously discouraged people who are well from wearing masks, but reviewed this advice following evidence that an infected person without symptoms can still transmit the virus.

 
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 10, 2020, with the headline 'Food handlers will be required to wear masks'. Subscribe