Legal cut-off age for kids in Singapore to wear masks to be raised to 6 and above

The cut-off age was raised after the WHO and Unicef indicated that young children below the age of six may not have the coordination necessary for the proper use of masks.
The cut-off age was raised after the WHO and Unicef indicated that young children below the age of six may not have the coordination necessary for the proper use of masks.ST PHOTO: GAVIN FOO

SINGAPORE - The legal cut-off age for children in Singapore to wear masks will be raised to six years and above, up from two years old currently.

The revised guidelines were announced by the multi-ministry task force handling the Covid-19 pandemic on Wednesday (Sept 23).

This comes after the World Health Organisation (WHO) and United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund (Unicef) recently indicated that young children below the age of six years may not have the coordination necessary for the proper use of masks.

Singapore is bringing its guidelines in alignment with those of the WHO and Unicef, the Ministry of Health's director of medical services Kenneth Mak said during a press conference on Wednesday.

He noted that existing guidelines already allow for some flexibility on mask use for younger children, as children 12 years old and below are permitted to use a face shield in place of a mask.

"To protect young children from Covid-19, we continue to encourage young children to wear a mask or face shield especially if they're in a group setting such as in playschool," said Professor Mak.

"Children and other persons who may not have the coordination necessary for the proper use (of masks) should continue to be supervised."

The raising of the legal cut-off age for children to wear masks was among a range of measures due to be relaxed that were announced on Wednesday, including the easing of some restrictions on gatherings for weddings and in religious places.