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Asian city state to drop indoor mask rule

Singapore is moving closer to lifting all Covid restrictions and maintaining low rates of infection.

The Republic of Singapore is set to lift its indoor mask requirement, announcing an end to one of the island’s few remaining Covid containment policies as it steadily returns to normal.

On Wednesday, Ong Ye Kung, the Health Minister, told reporters that the mask law would be eliminated on August 29th. This means residents won’t need to wear masks in public transport or at healthcare facilities. 

Starting next Monday, officials will relax the rules regarding non-vaccinated travel. There will no longer be any mandatory quarantine periods of seven days.

The small island nation lifted most of its coronavirus rules and largely reopened its economy earlier this year, as the health minister noted that some 70% of Singapore’s population had already contracted the illness and that re-infection rates are “very low.” Moreover, more than 90% of Singapore’s 5.5 million residents have been vaccinated against the illness, helping to keep mortality low compared to surrounding countries.

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During a speech on Sunday, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong hinted that the masking rules would soon be eased, observing that Singapore’s latest wave of infections had subsided, but said details would follow later. The Health Ministry reports that daily cases have dropped from 10,000 this summer, to a low of 3,000 by August 20.

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