In order to coincide with a significant easing of pandemic restrictions in Singapore on the same date, Singapore Airlines has confirmed that it will end its need for passengers to wear face masks in flight starting on August 29.
Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong declared that Singapore would abolish its prevalent masking laws in all but two settings—healthcare facilities and public transportation—during his speech at the National Day Rally on Sunday.
Commercial aircraft are included in some countries’ public transportation mask regulations, but Singapore’s Ministry of Health has now verified that the city-metro state’s system and buses—and not airplanes—were the intended targets.
Therefore, according to Singapore Airlines, masking regulations will no longer be enforced starting on August 29. However, crew members and passengers will still need to wear masks when traveling to or from countries that still have mask mandates in place.
The most notable change is the continued requirement for masks on flights to and from Australia, Canada, Germany, Hong Kong, Malaysia, and South Korea.
“Thanks to everyone’s efforts, we weathered the Omicron BA.5 subvariant wave without additional domestic or travel restrictions,” the Ministry of Health said on Wednesday.
“As this wave passes, our population has become more COVID-resilient, due to high vaccination and boosting rates and safe recovery from infections. We are now able to take another step towards living with COVID-19,” a statement from the MOH continued.
The current mask regulations in Singapore will be in effect through Monday. Unless they have a medical exemption that is supported by a certified doctor’s letter, all passengers six years of age and older are required to wear a face mask that covers their nose and mouth.