Singapore Airlines Drops General Mask Requirement On Many Routes

  • Singapore Airlines Airbus A350-941 (2)

    Singapore Airlines

    IATA / ICAO Code:
    SQ / SIA

    Airline Type:
    Full Service Carrier

    Hub (s):
    Singapore Changi Airport

    Year Founded:
    1972

    Alliance:
    Star Alliance

    CEO:
    Goh Choon Phong

    Country:
    Singapore

  • Jewel Changi Airport

    Singapore Changi Airport

    IATA / ICAO Code:
    SIN / WSSS

    Country:
    Singapore

    CEO:
    Lee Seow Hiang

    Passenger Count:
    3,053,000 (2021)

    Runways:
    02L / 20R – 4,000m (13,123ft) | 02C / 20C – 4,000m (13,123ft) | 02R / 20L – 4,000m (13,123ft)

    Terminals:
    Terminal 1 | Terminal 2 | Terminal 3 | Terminal 4 | JetQuay CIP Terminal

Several months following the post-pandemic rebound for air travel and airlines’ flight to recovery, most situations around the world seem back to pre-pandemic times without the need to wear masks, disregarding health declarations and scrapping the requirement for pre-departure or pre -arrival tests. Asia has been slower to follow suit, especially regarding the mask mandate. However, Singapore Airlines may be the first prominent Southeast Asian airline to scrap the mandate.

Masks are no longer mandatory

Like most Asian airlines, Singapore Airlines strictly enforced the mask mandate onboard all its flights, regardless of destination, to stick with government guidelines. Any passenger aged six and above was required to wear a mask during a flight and was only allowed to remove the mask during meal times. However, the Singapore Government recently announced that mask-wearing would no longer be mandatory unless on public transport and healthcare facilities.

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The welcoming news means that passengers flying on Singapore Airlines will not be required to wear masks on their flights from August 29th onwards unless they are flying to and from destinations that still mandate it. Mask wearing has also become optional at Singapore’s Changi International Airport, but passengers who still wish to wear a mask onboard or within the airport regardless of destination may continue to do so.

With Singapore Airlines making masks optional depending on destinations, other airlines within the region might soon follow suit. Photo: Vincenzo Pace | Simple Flying

Easing confusion for passengers

For its flights SQ25 and SQ26, Singapore Airlines requires a mask onboard due to Germany’s regulatory requirements. Due to Spain’s regulatory requirements, masks are also necessary onboard flights SQ377 and SQ378 between Milan and Barcelona. While it can be confusing with the updated policy, Singapore Airlines has provided a list of routes flown from Changi Airport:

Regions Destination Is a mask required onboard when arriving at the destination? Is a mask required onboard when departing from the destination? Is a mask required at the destination airport?
Americas Canada Yes Yes Yes
US No No No
Europe Denmark No No No
France No No No
Germany Yes Yes No
Italy No No No
Russia Yes Yes No
Spain Yes Yes No
Switzerland No No No
The Netherlands No No No
Turkey No No No
UK No No No
North Asia Hong Kong Yes Yes Yes
Japan No No Yes
Mainland China Yes Yes Yes
South Korea Yes Yes Yes
Taiwan No No Yes
Southeast Asia Brunei Yes Yes Yes
Cambodia Yes Yes Yes
Indonesia Yes Yes Yes
Malaysia Yes Yes Yes
Myanmar Yes Yes Yes
Philippines Yes Yes Yes
Thailand No No No
Vietnam Yes Yes Yes
West Asia & Africa Bangladesh Yes Yes Yes
India Yes Yes Yes
Nepal Yes Yes Yes
South Africa No No No
Sri Lanka No No No
The Maldives No No No
UAE Yes Yes Yes
Southwest Pacific Australia Yes No Yes
New Zealand No No Yes

The low-cost subsidiary of the Singapore Airlines Group, Scoot, may soon announce similar scrapping of its mask mandate. Photo: Scoot

Scoot may follow suit

With Singapore Airlines setting the precedence of scrapping the mask mandate, its low-cost subsidiary Scoot might soon follow suit. The budget airline may presumably make masks optional for flights to Greece, Japan, Saudi Arabia, Taiwan, and Thailand. Scoot might also follow in the primary carrier’s example of allowing the wearing of face masks optional on flights to Australia but making it mandatory on flights back to Singapore.

Though regardless of any airline’s mask policy, given how several countries still impose that mask-wearing be mandatory, it would still be best for passengers to pack a mask or two whenever and wherever they travel for the best avoidance of confusion.

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