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Covid-19: SIA cabin crew to wear surgical mask on board as safety precaution

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Cabin crew on the Singapore Airlines (SIA) are now required to wear surgical masks on board, with the measure kicking in from Saturday, March 7.

[SINGAPORE] Cabin crew on the Singapore Airlines (SIA) are now required to wear surgical masks on board, with the measure kicking in from Saturday, March 7.

This comes amid recent developments in the past week.

It emerged last Wednesday that a woman who was later found to be infected with the coronavirus had travelled on an SIA flight from Milan to Singapore on Feb 24.

Following that, the Ministry of Health said on Friday that an SIA steward was found to be infected with the coronavirus.

He is believed to be an imported case, and had last flown on an SIA return flight from Paris in late February.

SIA had previously said that while it has surgical masks on its planes, wearing the masks is voluntary for its crew.

According to a circular sent out on Friday seen by The Straits Times, SIA told crew members that wearing the surgical mask is now mandatory "given the recent developments", without elaborating.

The circular said: "Do note that you will not be penalised for temporary removal of your mask. Please put your mask back on as soon as possible after its removal."

In response to media queries on Monday, SIA said the measure was a temporary one.

"This is the latest measure that SIA has taken to minimise the risks for both its customers and staff," said SIA.

Other measures it has announced include redirecting a service away from Milan, suspending layovers for flights to Beijing and Shanghai, and stepping up the cleaning regime for its planes.

THE STRAITS TIMES