The Government has made the wearing of masks when leaving the house mandatory with immediate effect.
“The minute you leave your room, or you leave your house, you have to wear a mask when you go out,” said National Development Minister Lawrence Wong on Tue evening (14 Apr).
Mr Wong told a press conference by the multi-ministry taskforce on COVID-19 that those found flouting the requirement the first time will be subject to a S$300 fine.
A second offence will carry a fine of S$1,000. Egregious cases will be prosecuted in court, he added.
Foreigners residing in Singapore on permanent resident status or work passes will also have their status or passes revoked.
The requirement, however, is subject to certain exceptions.
Children below the age of two will be subject to the requirement, in line with medical experts’ recommendations on child safety, he said.
As for adults, only those who are engaging in strenuous exercises such as running and jogging do not have to wear a mask. They will, however, be required to put it on once they stop exercising.
Touching on the new requirement, Mr Wong said that it was made after the Government had updated its advisory on masks based on the “latest medical and scientific advice” and completed the distribution of reusable masks to Singaporeans over the weekend.
Mr Wong stressed that the new requirement does not mean people are now allowed to go out as they like, as the rest of the “circuit-breaker” measures will still be in place.
“You should not go out as much as possible. Just stay at home. Do all the right things – practice good hand hygiene and stay at home as much as possible.
“But in the rare occasion that you do need to go out for purchase of your groceries or purchase of essentials, then it’s only at that time that you wear a mask,” he said.