COVID rules: Almost half of Singapore residents will still wear masks in malls – poll

A picture showing woman in Singapore wearing a face mask.
A woman wearing a face mask in Singapore checks her phone. (PHOTO: Dhany Osman/Yahoo News Singapore)

SINGAPORE — Nearly five in 10 Singapore residents will continue to mask up in shopping centres even after it is made optional from Monday (29 August), according to a recent survey.

First enforced in April 2020, mask wearing is now only mandatory at healthcare facilities and on public transport, which was first announced by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong at the National Day Rally 2022.

The survey findings, released on Monday, also showed that six in 10 will continue to mask up while using private transport modes, like private bus services and taxis as well as at airports and train stations.

The study, conducted by UK-based YouGov's Omnibus online research service, polled a nationally representative sample of 1,046 adults aged 18 and above in Singapore from 25 to 26 August.

Four in 10 respondents said they will continue to mask up at indoor events or festivals and places of worship.

Some 30 per cent will continue to keep their masks on in cinemas and indoor workplaces. They also indicated that they are most likely to unmask when they are at a friend or family member’s house.

For the most part, where Singapore residents will opt to always wear a mask is consistent with where they feel the most vulnerable, study findings showed.

Some four in 10 respondents felt most uncomfortable using private transport, visiting airports or train stations as well as indoor events or festivals amid the pandemic.

This is followed by nightlife establishments (35 per cent) and cinemas (32 per cent).

Three in 10 said they feel uncomfortable visiting shopping centres as well as places of worship, followed by indoor workplaces (27 per cent) and F&B establishments (26 per cent).

Older people more cautious

Additionally, those above the age of 55 were most likely to say they would be uncomfortable visiting any of these locations, with the exception of the homes of family members and friends.

The mandate on outdoor mask-wearing in Singapore was lifted on 29 March due to the significantly lower risk of transmission. However, most Singaporeans still “cautiously chose” to wear their masks outdoors despite the rule easing, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said in a Facebook post on 7 April.

Authorities also further eased COVID-19 curbs from 26 April as Singapore lowered its Disease Outbreak Response System Condition (DORSCON) alert level from orange to yellow.

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