A British man in Singapore has lost his new job after failing to wear a face mask while taking the train home from work.
Recruitment consultant Benjamin Glynn claims he never wears a mask, adding “I don't even believe masks stop the spread of the virus in the first place” but says this is the first time it’s been a problem.
Father-of-two Glynn, 39, was pictured on a train in the Asian city-state by a fellow passenger without a mask – and after the image was posted online local police tracked him down and charged him with a public nuisance offence.
He spent 28 hours in a cell, and his passport was confiscated – preventing him from travelling back to the UK to start a new job.
The rest of Glynn’s family travelled home to Helmsley, North Yorkshire, on May 31 but he will have to remain behind to face trial.
He fears he could have to spend as much as 12 months on bail before his trial and potentially faces a six-month sentence in a Singapore jail.
"I think it's insane that I am facing a trial at all, just for not wearing a mask," he told the Yorkshire Post.
"It's a horrible situation to be in when I don't know when I can next see my family," he added.
Glynn claims there is no scientific evidence to support the idea that wearing a mask reduces the risk of infection.
He said: "I honestly believe it's a hoax. I don't feel there is any evidence to show mask-wearing is effective in any way.
"From a scientific basis, I think it's nonsense."
Jerome Tan, who made the video recording that landed Glynn in trouble, told The Straits Times that the Brit was "talking to an old man, trying to convince him to take off his mask, saying it'll make him sick.
"What's worse is that he tried to convince others not to wear masks, and I found his attitude quite arrogant – something had to be done."
Nobel prize-winning biologist Professor Sir Venki Ramakrishnan advises that face masks should be worn "whenever you are in crowded public spaces".
He says that there is considerable scientific evidence that masks protect the wearer and people around them, and warns the UK is "way behind" other countries when it comes to wearing them.
He added that failing to wear a face-covering should be regarded as "anti-social" in the same way as drink driving or failing to wear a seatbelt.
In Singapore, where social distancing measures are rigidly enforced among its 6 million inhabitants, there have been 62,366 recorded Covid-19 cases and 34 confirmed deaths.
Here in the UK, most recent figures show over 4.6 million people have been infected, and deaths are in excess of 128,000.
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