Coronavirus pandemic

Coronavirus: Two free reusable masks for all Singapore residents

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 will soon be able to get two free reusable antimicrobial masks each, thanks to Temasek Foundation.

These can be collected during the next two weeks, starting from Monday at 10am to July 12, 11.59pm, from any of some 1,200 vending machines at bus interchanges, community centres and clubs, and residents' committee centres.

The distribution of masks was announced yesterday by Temasek Foundation, which supports programmes that uplift lives and communities in Singapore and beyond.

The masks provided by the 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, an enveloped virus like the Sars-CoV-2.

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 will be 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.

Visit https://stayprepared.sg/staymasked/reusable/masksafe/ to check the locations of the vending machines near your home and their stock availability.

To collect the masks, you need to scan the barcode of your NRIC or any government-issued identification at the 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 taking their identification with you.

If you wish to get more masks, you can go to the StayMasked website or DBS PayLah to pre-order them from now to July 11, 11.59pm. Payment may be done using DBS PayLah, PayNow or major credit cards. A QR code will be generated for each order and sent to the mobile phone number used for the order.

You can collect the masks by scanning the QR code at the vending machines. Should the initial machine run out of stock, you can get the balance of the order from a different one. Direct sales or payment will not be available at the 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 here were each given a pack of four surgical masks. The second exercise in April saw residents receiving reusable masks. In the third exercise late last month, residents collected improved reusable masks with better protective qualities.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 26, 2020, with the headline 'Two free reusable masks for all S'pore residents'. Print Edition | Subscribe