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Many Singaporeans not quite ready to stop wearing masks indoors despite relaxed rules

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SINGAPORE – On Monday August 29, for the first time in more than two years, Singaporeans were not required to wear a mask indoors – but not everyone was keen to give it up.

In shopping malls and schools across Singapore, many people still wore their masks.

When asked, two reasons stand out.

First, the need to continue to take precautions to protect one’s own health; and second, not wanting to get sick and endanger the health of close family members.

For example, estate agent Kek Siew Sin, 57, said he has no plans to stop wearing a mask when indoors.

He said: “I always plan to wear a mask indoors. I can’t afford to get sick because I’m self-employed.”

Likewise, graphic designer Yong Chong How, 46, was in no rush to stop wearing a mask.

The Sengkang resident said, “I will always wear masks. It is the responsible thing to do to protect family and friends. I will only take off the mask when I need to drink or eat.”

Last Wednesday, the multi-departmental task force on the fight against Covid-19 said that people will not be required to wear a mask indoors, except in health establishments and on public transport.

In March, the requirement to wear a mask outdoors was removed as part of the relaxation of several other rules for the safe management of Covid-19 in Singapore.

When the Straits Times visited the Clementi Mall at 10.30am on Monday, around eight in 10 people were seen wearing a mask inside the mall.