Singapore to end mask-wearing mandate next week

The island-state continues to wind back restrictions as it moves into the post-pandemic era.

By David Flynn, August 25 2022
Singapore to end mask-wearing mandate next week

Singapore will scrap rules for wearing masks in most indoor settings as the country moves further toward casting off all its pandemic curbs.

Starting Monday August 29, masks will be required only on public transport and health care facilities like hospitals and nursing homes – but not at indoors at public venues such as shopping malls, hotels and restaurants (unless eating and drinking, of course).

Most significantly for travellers, masks will no longer need to be worn at Changi Airport or on Singapore Airlines flights, depending on the local requirements of the country your flight is headed to or from.

“With effect from 29 August 2022, customers are not required to wear face masks on board flights, unless they are travelling to or from destinations that require a face mask,” the airline said in a statement.

Face masks will be required on Singapore Airlines flights to Australia, but not from Australia – but not on flights to or from the UK, the USA, France, Italy or Thailand, for example.

They will however be needed on flights to and from Canada, Germany and Malaysia, among others.

The announcement comes almost a year after Singapore first reopened on a quarantine-free basis to the rest of world on September 8, 2021, initially with a system of ‘vaccinated travel lanes’ to selected countries.

VTL travellers had to apply for a vaccinated visitor pass, undergo pre-departure and on-arrival PCR tests, and hold an insurance policy with at least $30,000 in Covid cover.

Once in Singapore, masks had to be worn outdoors as well as indoors, no more than two people could congregate together, and nightlife was almost non-existent with strict bans on bars consuming alcohol after 10pm and playing music.

These rules have been steadily wound back over there course of this year, with visits to Singapore edging ever-closer to a ‘normal’ 2019 experience – although hotel prices remain pegged at their highest in almost six years.

A signal moment in Singapore’s recovery will be its return to the Formula 1 calendar, with round 17 of the 2022 world championship being held on the twisty Singapore Grand Prix street circuit around Marina Bay Sands street circuit from September 30 to October 2.

If you’re headed to the Red Dot for some race action, here are the best hotels in Singapore to watch the F1 from.

While you’re in Singapore, don’t miss the city’s newest Michelin-approved eateries, ranging from value-for-money restaurants to hawker centre stalls, and take time out to discover Singapore like a local.

Additional reporting by Bloomberg

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