As the government further eases COVID-19 restrictions, the new face covering requirements are based on the rules of destination countries
Singapore Airlines is joining a growing number of international carriers that are dropping the requirement for all passengers to wear face masks. As of Monday, August 29, only passengers traveling to or from destinations that require face masks on flights will need to wear one, according to an announcement from the airline.
Currently, international mask mandates are a mixed bag, with individual governments imposing requirements based on local case numbers. For example, virtually all of Singapore Air’s destinations in Southeast Asia require masks except Thailand.
Meanwhile in Europe, practically no country requires passengers to mask up except Germany and Spain. In North America, Canada mandates masks, while the US does not.
Singapore Airlines provides a list of current masking requirements for its destination countries, as well as other COVID-19 travel information, on their website.
The carrier says it will update this list as mask-wearing rules evolve, but still caution, “As regulations may change at short notice, customers are advised to check the travel advisory issued by the local authorities of their planned destination, if in doubt.”
The airline’s move follows new guidance from Singapore government health officials, which is ending mandatory mask wearing in most indoor settings. This means masks are now optional for passengers at Changi Airport as of Monday.
The exceptions are areas “where essential services are carried out in enclosed and crowded areas, and which are frequently used by vulnerable persons.” These include Singapore’s rapid transit and public buses, and indoor areas such as bus and train stations.
In addition, the government has also announced that COVID-19 restrictions for inbound travelers have been further relaxed. Starting this week, non-vaccinated travelers will no longer be required to undergo a seven-day quarantine period on arrival, or take a PCR test at the end of the seven days.
However they still have to take a pre-departure test within two days of leaving for Singapore. That requirement does not apply to fully vaccinated travelers.