Dropping masks after circuit breaker period is unwise

It is irresponsible and unwise for Mr Eric J. Brooks to call for masks not to be worn after June 1 (Reconsider need to wear masks beyond circuit breaker period, May 13).

Mr Brooks has completely missed the point in arguing that making hawkers wear masks will not prevent food poisoning, when the intended purpose of implementing this measure was to specifically curb Covid-19. There are already existing measures in place to safeguard against potential food contamination.

Granted, the warm and humid conditions of hawker stalls may cause discomfort for the hawkers. This, however, can be rectified by donning a spit guard instead.

Calling for everyone to discard the mask to avoid hurting tourism is completely out of sync with the strict travel restrictions already in place everywhere. With Singapore Airlines cancelling about 96 per cent of its scheduled passenger flights till the end of this month, Mr Brooks’ postulation that it will find it difficult to sell long-haul flights if mask-wearing is made compulsory is irrelevant.

Contrary to Mr Brooks’ claims, if I were to make an overseas trip tomorrow, I would feel much more secure flying with an airline that requires all passengers to put on masks, and travelling to a country where its people wear masks as a safeguard during this pandemic.

Indeed, thousands of jobs and livelihoods are at stake in our restaurants, and tourism and hospitality sectors, including many other sectors that he did not mention. This isn’t caused by the policy direction on mask-wearing, but rather an inevitable outcome during a pandemic that requires strict social distancing measures in place to contain infections.

I look forward to the day when we can remove masks in public areas, but the time clearly hasn’t arrived. Meanwhile, let us continue to exhibit responsible social behaviour and continue donning our masks.

 

Raymond Tan

 

 

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