COVID-19: Masks optional indoors from 29 Aug except on public transport, healthcare settings

People wearing face masks walking along an MRT train station in Singapore.
People wearing face masks walking along an MRT train station in Singapore. (PHOTO: Maverick Asio/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

SINGAPORE — From Monday (29 August), the legal requirement to wear face masks indoors in Singapore will be removed, except for settings where essential services are carried out in enclosed and crowded areas, and which are frequently used by vulnerable persons.

This means that face masks must continue to be worn in two indoor settings:

  • Healthcare facilities, residential care homes (including welfare and sheltered homes for the aged, as well as adult disability homes) and ambulances: These include the indoor premises of hospitals and polyclinics (inclusive of retail, food and beverages (F&B) outlets, common areas and other facilities within the hospital/polyclinic building); private primary care and dental facilities, specialist clinics, Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) clinics, renal dialysis centres, clinical and radiological laboratories, day hospices; residential care homes; COVID-19 care facilities, testing centres and vaccination centres; as well as on emergency ambulances and medical transport vehicles.

  • Public transport: This covers the MRT/LRT and public buses, and indoor public transport facilities (e.g. boarding areas within bus interchanges and MRT platforms). Mask-wearing on private transport modes, as well as school buses, private bus services and taxis, will be optional.

Mask-wearing required as part of sectoral regulations, such as the Singapore Food Agency’s requirement for food handlers to maintain good hygiene, will continue to apply.

First announced by PM Lee Hsien Loong during National Day Rally

The move was first announced by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong during his National Day Rally speech on Sunday.

The mandate on outdoor mask-wearing in Singapore was lifted on 29 March due to the significantly lower risk of transmission.

However, most Singaporeans still “cautiously chose” to wear their masks outdoors despite the rule easing, Lee said in a Facebook post on 7 April.

Authorities also further eased COVID-19 curbs from 26 April as Singapore lowered its Disease Outbreak Response System Condition (DORSCON) alert level from orange to yellow.

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