As Singaporeans adjust to a new normal, face masks have become an essential part of our daily lives in an effort to slow the spread of the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. If you are back behind the wheel, you would have noticed that it is a common sight for other drivers to be sporting face masks too. Which brings up the question – Should I be wearing a mask while driving my car?
First, let’s deliberate about the importance of wearing a mask inside your car. In accordance with Ministry of Health (MOH), Singaporeans who are travelling alone, or with members from the same household, are not obliged to wear a mask. The rationale behind this is that cars are recognised as an extension of your home: Since you interact with your family members without wearing a mask at home, the same practice applies to your car.
However, we still recommend having a spare face mask, bottle of sanitizer and several antibacterial wipes with you in the event that you have to step out of your car for a grocery run or to pump petrol.
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Whereas for the private-hire industry, drivers and passengers are required to wear a mask as it enforces higher safety, hygiene standards, and protects the next passenger who might be getting into the car after. Those who fail to comply with the updated regulations will be issued composition offers of $300, while repeated offenders will face higher fines or prosecution in court for egregious cases.
Evidently, the seriousness of the coronavirus pandemic, with about 55,292 (10 August) confirmed cases in Singapore to date, has prompted the government to impose an obligation of wearing face masks to prevent further transmission of the virus. That said, using the right one is crucial.
A tight-fitted mask might alter your blood chemistry, which could severely affect your consciousness when worn over a long period. So, if you feel like a mask will impair your ability to operate a motor vehicle, we advise wearing a less restrictive surgical or cloth mask. Besides, the government has also distributed reusable masks for all Singapore residents so you can leave those surgical masks and N95 respirators for frontline staff and healthcare workers who face COVID-19 patients head-on every day.
On top of that, homegrown labels have also churned out reusable masks in different sizes with pockets to slot in filter inserts. We put together a list of our favourite brands that provide adequate protection, so let’s support these local businesses!
A firm believer that all things in life should strike a balance between aesthetics and practicality, By This Mom is a humble home-based business started by a mother of two young children with the sole purpose of addressing existing gaps in our retail industry. Each mask is made with 3-ply cotton from Taiwan, Korea and Japan for breathability and long-wearing comfort, and comes with a filter slot for additional protection if required.
What we admire most about this mompreneur is that she takes pride in her work. From handpicking the right materials to manufacturing these cloth masks to ensuring your orders reach your doorstep safely.
Each mask retails from S$10.90 onwards and is available in two sizes.
Established in 1935, CYC is a homegrown heritage tailor that crafts garments of superior quality and cut. Made of premium quality cotton fabric from renowned shirting mills, each mask includes a washable N95 hydrophobic filter which means it can retain its efficacy fairly well even after several washes. For hygiene purposes, CYC recommends changing the mask filter after 10-15 washes. You can get refills of the filters here.
Each mask retails from S$20.00 onwards and is available in three sizes.
Little Lyn Studio’s handmakes neatly sewn reusable cotton face masks with an assortment of cotton fabric prints to choose from. Each mask comes with a filter, elastic ear loops and malleable nose wire suited for your comfort.
Each mask retails from S$18.90 onwards and is available in two sizes.
If you want a breathable, exquisitely gentle on skin and silky soft lustrous sheen face mask that is stitched to perfection, look no further than Sew By Mom. Made with love by a grandmother, Emily channeled her passion for sewing into a mask-making business to support her family during these uncertain times. Each mask is made of 4 ply with satin and 100% cotton, and comes with a filter pocket compartment so you can easily add a disposable filter insert if desired.
Our favourite design would be their 3D Origami Satin Mask. The mask has an anatomical origami folded shape, thus allowing the lips and nose to have some breathing room. This unique folded design at the side also eliminates gaps.
Each mask retails from S$14.90 onwards and is available in two sizes.
Threadworks manufactures fabric masks made from breathable cotton that are designed for comfort and style. Their products are 100% handmade in Singapore and each mask is individually made to order.