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Singapore eases mask-wearing protocols

Mask-wearing on public transport, indoor healthcare and residential care is now optional.

Wearing masks on public transport, and indoor and healthcare and residential care settings is no longer mandatory as Singapore exits the acute phase of the pandemic starting on 13 February.

In a statement, the Ministry of Health said the government is adjusting the Disease Outbreak Response System Condition, the framework that indicates the current disease situation, from Yellow to Green.

However, the ministry said mask-wearing for visitors, staff and patients in healthcare and residential care settings where there is interaction with patients and in indoor patient-facing areas will be retained as part of the MOH requirement and not the pandemic protocols.

READ MORE: Chart of the day: 2 in 5 adults uncomfortable not wearing masks in indoor spaces

These include hospital wards, clinics and nursing homes to better protect patients and healthcare workers from infectious diseases.

“As mask-wearing is an effective way to minimise the risk of infectious diseases, we encourage members of the public, especially the elderly and immunocompromised, to wear masks in crowded places, or when visiting or interacting with vulnerable persons,” the ministry said. 

“We strongly advise individuals who are unwell with symptoms of COVID-19 or other respiratory infections to wear a mask when they need to leave their homes,” it added.

Other authorities are also allowed to require mask-wearing such as the Singapore Food Authority’s requirement for food handlers. Private enterprises may also maintain mask-wearing as a company policy for health and safety or business continuity.

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