Ten days into the Circuit Breaker, about 50 people were still caught for not wearing face masks when they visited public places. Certain people seemed to have a difficult time understanding that it is mandatory to wear face masks when they need to leave their homes.
Masagos Zulkifli, the Minister for the Environment and Water Resources, raised this issue on his Facebook page yesterday (16 April), reminding everyone to follow the protective measures during a critical time like this.
Mr Masagos expressed understanding that it was not easy to adjust to spending most of our time at home, as well as wearing masks and practising safe distancing when we leave home. However, he emphasised that these measures are “critical” to effectively contain COVID-19.
After observing the public yesterday, he stated that there were around 50 people who were out and about without face masks. Mr Masagos reported that it was a good sign, but he still hoped that he would find none after that.
“It is now mandatory to wear a mask when out of home. Glad to know the majority have been doing so. Today, only close to 50 people were found to be in public spaces without masks. It’s a good sign but I hope we will find none tomorrow!”
He warned Singaporeans to not let their guards down even when things begin to look better, and it is important to complete the Circuit Breaker with absolute seriousness until the very end.
Looking at how a small number of people are getting complacent even when COVID-19 cases continued to soar daily, Mr Masagos said that he could still find people dining in at hawker centres and crowds could be seen at markets. Some people could also be seen loitering at parks and public spaces.
“A small number are becoming complacent even as the number of COVID-19 cases continues to increase. We are still finding people eating at hawker centres despite dine-in being disallowed, crowds returning to some popular markets, and others loitering and hanging out in groups at parks and public spaces,” wrote Mr Masagos.
Yesterday alone, 150 people breached safe distancing measures and fines were said to be issued to them. Mr Masagos urged everyone to play their part in containing the coronavirus. Otherwise, 28 days of Circuit Breaker may not be enough to break the chain of transmission.
He also acknowledged that the battles against COVID-19 had been difficult, but tough and essential decisions had to be made to keep Singapore and Singaporeans safe.
“Fines will be issued to about 150 people who breached safe distancing measures today. We all know that if we do not play our part to observe the circuit breaker strictly, the 28 days may not be enough to break the chain of transmission, don’t we?”
“Our battle against COVID-19 has been difficult for everyone. And we have had to make tough but essential decisions. But we must do whatever it takes to keep Singaporeans and Singapore safe,” Mr Masagos stated.
Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong had conveyed the same message on 9 April, urging Singaporeans to comply with the Stay Home measures “very strictly”. Ambassadors and public officers had been working hard to cease the offenders of the Circuit Breaker and safe distancing measures.
Mr Lee warned that any group gathering in public would immediately be issued a written warning by enforcement officers.
He advised Singaporeans to comply with the Circuit Breaker to hopefully speed up the process of containing COVID-19. Not forgetting to express understanding of how everyone wanted to return to normalcy, Mr Lee said that it would only happen if Singaporeans took this matter seriously.