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Whether you’re going on your bi-weekly grocery run, picking up takeout from a restaurant, or passing by your local hawker, how likely are we to see signs on the doors of local businesses in the coming months: “No masks, no service.”


Let's think about this. It’s a perfectly sensible approach to slowing the spread of COVID-19, but not everyone gets the message. Owners and customers alike have reportedly balked at mask regulations inside the bars and restaurants that have begun to reopen in the USA and some parts of Asia, with some owners going so far as to ban any customers who do wear masks

For anyone who’s struggling to grasp the need for masks in public spaces, or who simply has questions about how these face coverings are even supposed to work, here is a useful FAQ.

I don’t want to wear a mask.
Is that a question?

No. I just don’t want to.
The Ministry of Health MOH Singapore has recommended the use of face masks, to help slow the spread of the novel coronavirus, which as of this week has killed 23 people in Singapore.

This has gone on for too long. I feel safe enough! It’s almost summer! (June 1) We should be able to live our lives!
So should the people who will take your orders and serve you. Restaurant workers preparing your grab and go are vulnerable, and many aren’t financially able to stop working. Wearing a mask helps them.

Can’t enjoy a glass of wine if you’re wearing a mask! 
Move it aside briefly, then take a sip or a bite or whatever. This is mostly just about being respectful of other people.

What if I wear the mask to the cafe, but not in the cafe?
Why would you do that? It's currently a no, no to do so in many parts of Asia and across the globe.

What if I wear a mask, but I do that thing where I just let it dangle down by my chin, instead of actually covering my nose and mouth?
That defeats the entire purpose of the mask in the first place.

If I have to wear a mask to a restaurant, I might as well just stay home and eat there.
That is an excellent idea.

Article adapted from original article published in Grubstreet.com


29 May 2020
Right now, the decision of whether or not to dine out is personal. Restaurants are being encouraged — or ordered — to reduce capacity and space out tables, but the exact rules vary from city to city across Asia. In Ho Chi Minh, for example, restaurants are limited to 50 percent capacity indoors (with unlimited capacity outdoors), while in other cities, social-distancing measures are recommended but not enforced. With no universal guidance, restaurants are left to design their own protocols for creating safe spaces for their employees and customers. The reopenings don’t necessarily reflect a successful beating back of the virus, either. In some cities in Asia, reopenings have moved forward even as the number of cases rises. So the question remains: Even if you can go to a restaurant, should you? Without a vaccine, there is risk. No one knows how long it will take to create a working vaccine, and although there are promising trials in progress, the head of the World Health Organization’s health emergencies program believes a viable vaccine is so far off that the novel coronavirus may just become a consistent part of our futures. And so right now, the decision of whether or not to dine out is personal.