A video footage of several uniformed officers guarding inside a MRT train cabin which was taken and uploaded by a Tik Tok user, thecrownedhead, garnered attention of netizens.
The video captioned, “Singapore all people must wear mask going in MRT…” was believed to echo Transport Minister Khaw Boon Wan announcement on Saturday (11 April) where he said mask-wearing is compulsory for public transport.
In the video, several uniform officers can be seen donning a face mask and standing at each side of the train’s doors. They appeared to be guarding the train to ensure commuters comply with the elevated safe distancing measures as well as mask-wearing.
According to Mr Khaw, all the commuters are required to wear masks when using public transport, otherwise the “transport ambassadors will remind them to do so”, he wrote on his Facebook page.
He said that the mandate to wear mask in public transport is to minimise COVID-19 transmission in public transport during post-Circuit Breaker period “when safe distancing is compromised”.
With circuit breaker measures in place, the safe distancing rules have resulted in long waiting crowds and long queues outside bus stations and also on the train platforms.
“I can imagine impatient, and even angry commuters,” said Mr Khaw, while suggesting that to make all commuters wear masks when they use public transport is a “practical compromise” to ensure public health.
He said, “To prepare for this, we will get commuters to wear masks, NOW, when using public transport. Our Transport Ambassadors will remind them to do so. Our posters too.”
Earlier, Land Transport Authority (LTA) issued a statement on Thursday (9 Apr) to remind commuters to be socially responsible by wearing a reusable face mask when using public transport.
On top of the safe distancing stickers to mark out spaces and seats on public transport, LTA advised those who are unwell to avoid travelling on public transport while those who travel for essential purposes should wear a reusable face mask and refrain from crowding the public transport.
“They should also follow the instructions given by Transport Ambassadors and LTA’s enforcement officers so that we can preserve the elevated measures during this challenging period,” it said.