Singapore to Allow No Mask-Wearing in Airports, Ease in COVID Regulations

Covid Restriction in Signapore

Singapore announced on Thursday that it will permit non-fully vaccinated travelers to enter the country without needing a negative pre-departure test starting from February 13, 2023, according to health authorities.

The Ministry of Health also revealed plans to eliminate mask-wearing requirements on public transport beginning Monday as the nation transitions out of the “acute phase” of the pandemic.

Deputy Prime Minister Lawrence Wong, who co-chairs Singapore’s Covid task force, emphasized the nation’s stable Covid situation in recent months despite increased travel and global developments.

The decision marks a significant shift towards treating Covid-19 as an endemic condition and establishing a “new norm” for Singapore. The Covid task force, operational since January 2020, will be disbanded following these developments.

Travelers entering Singapore by air or sea will still be required to submit a health declaration upon arrival. Additionally, short-term visitors will no longer need to purchase Covid travel insurance or present proof of a negative pre-departure test.

While vaccinated travel lanes will remain available for potential reactivation amid international concerns such as new variants, authorities underscored the continued relaxation of restrictions as Singapore progresses towards normalization.

Shoppers at Century Square Tampines (Photo: Benjamin Seetor)

Since the pandemic’s onset in 2020, Singapore has progressively eased Covid measures, culminating in the recent removal of indoor mask mandates and quarantine requirements for non-fully vaccinated travelers.

Despite these relaxations, health officials urge continued vigilance, especially in settings involving patient interaction.

The nation reported 377 Covid-19 cases on Wednesday, reflecting a significant decline from peak levels observed nearly a year ago. Singapore’s Disease Outbreak Response System Condition (DORSCON) will revert to the green level, signaling minimal disruption to daily life, similar to pre-pandemic norms.

Vaccination progress remains robust, with approximately 92% of the population having completed the primary vaccination series as of January, and 83% having received additional protection through first booster doses.

Health Minister Ong Ye Kung emphasized the pivotal role of vaccination in enabling Singapore to go towards a new phase where routine measures akin to influenza vaccinations may become standard practice, particularly for vulnerable groups.

The ministry continues to recommend annual booster shots for individuals aged 60 and above, reflecting ongoing efforts to sustain protective immunity across the population.

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Categorized as Health

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