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Mask-Wearing On Public Transport No Longer Mandatory From 13 Feb As S’pore Enters DORSCON Green

Mask-Wearing No Longer Needed On Public Transport & Some Healthcare Settings From 13 Feb

From Monday (13 Feb), Singapore residents will no longer need to wear masks on public transport and in some healthcare settings.

The Ministry of Health (MOH) announced that Singapore would also move from DORSCON (Disease Outbreak Response System Condition) Yellow to Green, the lowest level since the pandemic hit.

But the ministry said mask-wearing will still be needed for visitors, staff, and patients in certain settings.

This includes indoor patient-facing areas like hospitals, clinics, and nursing homes.

Mask-wearing no longer mandatory from 13 Feb

At a press conference on Thursday (9 Feb), the Multi-Ministry Task Force (MTF) announced that mask-wearing would no longer be mandatory on public transport.

Source: Ong Ye Kung on Facebook

Masks will also not be compulsory in certain healthcare and residential care settings.

However, the practice will be retained at hospitals, clinics, and nursing homes, where visitors, staff, and patients interact indoors.

Instead of being under Covid-19 regulations, this will now be an MOH requirement.

It is in place to better protect patients and healthcare workers from infectious diseases in general.

 

Singapore enters DORSCON Green

Three years ago, on 7 Feb 2020, Covid-19 hit Singapore, and the DORSCON level was raised to Orange. Later in April, mask-wearing requirements were introduced.

In April 2022, Singapore lowered the DORSCON level to Yellow, the second lowest tier, and has maintained it since.

According to The Straits Times (ST), from Monday (13 Feb), the DORSCON level will be moved down to Green.

This puts Covid-19 in the same category as the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and the H7N9 bird flu strain.

Nonetheless, MOH said the new endemic Covid-19 normal would not be static as authorities would adjust these measures when necessary.

“Unless it is a very dangerous and virulent variant, we should be able to manage these subsequent waves with an appropriate level of measures,” they said.

MOH added that these measures should not deviate significantly from the new normal, and residents can continue living normally.

Besides that, the MTF that was convened in Jan 2020 as a whole-of-government response to Covid-19 will step down.

Henceforth, MOH will be taking over the management of the Covid-19 situation.

But should the situation worsen significantly, the government will reactivate an appropriate multi-agency crisis management structure.

TraceTogether token return exercise from 13 Feb

MOH announced that from 13 Feb, Singapore’s Covid-19 protocols would also be removed.

The protocols dictated what to do should residents feel unwell or test positive for Covid-19. A new general advisory will take its place.

Under the advisory, medically vulnerable individuals that have Acute Respiratory Infection (ARI) symptoms or suffer prolonged, severe, or worsening ARI symptoms should see a doctor.

Those who have mild ARI symptoms should stay home until they are resolved.

MOH said if there is a need to go out while symptomatic or while asymptomatic but positive for Covid-19, patients should exercise social responsibility.

They should minimise social interactions, wear a mask, and avoid crowded spaces.

As Singapore enters DORSCON Green, MOH will also be stepping down the use of contact tracing tools TraceTogether (TT) and SafeEntry (SE).

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Featured image by MS News.

Sabrina Seng

Sabrina is always facing some form of existential crisis but other than that, she's pretty chill.

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