Glad to see most Singaporeans wearing masks outdoors: PM Lee Hsien Loong

SINGAPORE - 2022/03/26: People are wearing face masks as a preventive measure against the spread of covid-19 while walking along Orchard Road, a famous shopping district in Singapore. (Photo by Maverick Asio/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)
People wearing face masks while walking along Orchard Road. (PHOTO: LightRocket via Getty Images) (SOPA Images via Getty Images)

SINGAPORE — Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said on Thursday (7 April) that despite the relaxation of Singapore’s mask-wearing rules amid the COVID-19 pandemic, he is “glad” to see most Singaporeans have “cautiously chosen” to wear their masks outdoors.

In a post on Facebook, Lee noted that Singapore entered the circuit breaker two years ago and is in a “much better shape” now, with most people having been vaccinated and received booster shots. Established safe management measures are in place that can be dialed up or down as needed. “As a society, we are also acting safely and responsibly,” Lee added.

Lee’s comments come after he announced on 24 March a slew of eased safe management measures. (SMMs)

The wearing of masks is optional outdoors from 29 March as the risk of transmission is significantly lower, but they will still be mandatory indoors.

Safe distancing requirements are maintained at one metre between groups where masks are off to minimise transmission in mask-off settings.

The maximum group size has been raised from five to 10, while up to 75 per cent of employees can return to their workplaces, and the capacity limit for larger events has also been increased. In addition, restrictions on the sale and consumption of alcohol at food & beverage establishments after 10.30pm have been lifted.

In a further easing of SMMs, all nightlife businesses will be allowed to fully reopen from 19 April.

Lee said in his Facebook post that Singaporeans remained united and resilient during the “tough” situation of the circuit breaker.

But Lee reminded Singaporeans that the country is “far from being out of the woods”. The healthcare system is still facing a heavy load, with healthcare workers working tirelessly, he said.

“As we adjust to the new normal, do continue exercising social and personal responsibility, such as by testing ourselves if we feel unwell, and abiding by prevailing SMMs.”

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