Singapore Airlines has confirmed that it plans to drop its inflight face mask mandate from August 29 to coincide with a major relaxation of pandemic restrictions across Singapore on the same date.
During his National Day Rally speech on Sunday, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong announced that Singapore would drop its existing and widespread masking rules in nearly all environments except two – healthcare settings and public transport.
In some countries, public transit mask mandates also include commercial aircraft, but Singapore’s Ministry of Health has since confirmed that it specifically meant the city state’s metro system and busses but not aeroplanes.
Singapore Airlines says it will therefore lift masking rules from August 29, although passengers and crew will still be required to wear a mask on flights to or from another country where mask mandates are still in place.
Most notably, masks will still be required on flights to and from Australia and Canada, as well as 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.
Singapore’s existing mask rules will remain in force until Monday. Passengers aged six and over must wear a face mask that covers both their nose and mouth, unless they have a medical exemption which is accompanied by a signed doctors note.
Mateusz Maszczynski honed his skills as an international flight attendant at the most prominent airline in the Middle East and has been flying throughout the COVID-19 pandemic for a well-known European airline. Matt is passionate about the aviation industry and has become an expert in passenger experience and human-centric stories. Always keeping an ear close to the ground, Matt's industry insights, analysis and news coverage is frequently relied upon by some of the biggest names in journalism.