National Security Minister Stuart Young continues to encourage people to wear facemasks when venturing outdoors and said the masks did not present a major challenge to law enforcement as police were well within their rights to ask people to briefly remove the masks so they could be identified.
Young responded to questions from reporters at the Ministry of Health’s daily press conference on whether the widespread use of masks would pose a problem to the authorities in identifying criminals on the streets or in banks and other financial institutions.
He said while he understood the concern, people may be asked by security guards or police to remove their masks to be identified.
"At the outset I was in personal contact with the Bankers Association, Unit Trust and some of these other places when we introduced and suggested to people to wear the masks, and there are ways to get around this. One of the discussions was to ask customers as they enter the bank to just remove their mask briefly for a second and put it back on.
"Continue to work with us. This morning at my security meeting, we continue to focus and there are certain things we are doing, so please keep wearing your masks it is open to any police officer to ask you to briefly remove your mask and put it back on so you can be properly identified."