Singapore drops most indoor mask requirements

Singapore, Aug 29 (EFE).- Singapore dropped most indoor mask requirements from Monday after the government announced last week a relaxation of anti-Covid-19 measures to take another step towards normality.

The legal requirement for wearing masks indoors has been removed for most places, except on public transport and in healthcare facilities, ambulances and residential care homes, according to the updated guidelines published by the Ministry of Health.

Likewise, workers in certain professional categories, such as food handlers, must continue to use masks under the requirements demanded by each sector.

With the measure, masks are optional at airports and in naturally ventilated transport terminals, as well as inside private transport vehicles such as taxis, school buses and private buses.

“The taxi driver can suggest, request, but there is no law to require [a mask]… This is not enforceable, there is no basis of law for the taxi driver to say you have to. It’s optional,” said Deputy Prime Minister Lawrence Wong at a press conference last Wednesday.

Previously, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong had already anticipated that masks would also no longer be mandatory in schools, since “children do need to be able to see the facial expressions of their teachers and of each other,” he said on Aug. 21.

The city state therefore takes another step towards a return to normality, with which it hopes to strengthen its status as a regional financial hub, which was threatened by the pandemic and the consequent closure of borders, which only partially reopened a few months ago.

It joins other countries in the region such as Thailand and the Philippines, which have relaxed restrictions in recent weeks in an attempt to reactivate important sectors of the economy, such as tourism, which were hit hard by the pandemic.

With more than 93 percent of its 5.4 million inhabitants fully vaccinated against Covid-19, Singapore has so far accumulated almost 1.8 million cases and some 1,590 deaths from the disease. EFE


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