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Singapore eases Covid-19 restrictions, masks only on public transport

Singapore relaxed its restrictions on Covid-19 and said that wearing masks won't be mandatory from August 29 except on public transport and hospitals

Photo by Viktor Forgacs on Unsplash

Photo by Viktor Forgacs on Unsplash

Press Trust of India Singapore
Singapore on Wednesday relaxed its social-mixing restrictions on COVID-19 and said that wearing masks won't be mandatory from August 29 except on public transport and hospitals as the daily hospital cases have halved in the country.
Speaking at a press conference to announce the relaxation of the masks mandate, Deputy Prime Minister Lawrence Wong said that masks will only be mandatory in two settings, the first being healthcare facilities, residential care homes and ambulances, as well as indoor premises within hospitals and polyclinics.
And the second being public transport, the Channel News Asia quoted him as saying.
Mask-wearing in the airport and on private transport modes such as school buses, private bus services and taxis will be optional, he said.
The relaxation in the COVID-19 restrictions came as the daily hospital cases have halved from more than 800 in July to below 400 these days, the report said.
But it will also be required on public transport such as the boarding areas within bus interchanges and platforms of Mass Rapid Transit, a pan-island subway-train network most widely used by commuters, another report by the Straits Times quoted Wong as saying.
However, Wong cautioned that while the pandemic situation is much better today, Singaporeans must be mentally prepared for any sudden change as the next COVID-19 variant could be more aggressive and dangerous.
Health Minister Ong Ye Kung said that Singapore should prepare itself for a "northern hemisphere winter wave" at the end of the year, which the United States, United Kingdom and Europe are all bracing for.
Vaccination remains the primary line of defence, said the multi-ministry task force, which is co-chaired by Deputy Prime Minister Wong, Health Minister Ong and Trade and Industry Minister Gan Kim Yong.
Border measures will be eased, as non-fully vaccinated travellers entering Singapore will not need to undergo a seven-day stay home notice (SHN) upon arrival from Monday.
Such travellers will not have to take a polymerase chain reaction test upon exiting SHN as well.
They will continue to need a negative pre-departure test taken within two days of departing for Singapore, the report said.
Non-fully vaccinated long-term pass holders and short-term visitors aged 13 and above will not have to apply for entry approval to enter Singapore from Monday as well.
Wong also said the multi-ministry task force will not be stood down, as the pandemic situation could change suddenly.
The task force is continuing to monitor the situation closely and has plans in place for various contingencies such as scaling up healthcare capacity and stepping up vaccination operations when needed, he added.
"I hope we will not need to invoke these measures again," he said, referring to safe management measures.

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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First Published: Aug 24 2022 | 2:59 PM IST

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