SINGAPORE - From next Monday (Aug 29), passengers flying on Singapore Airlines will no longer need to wear face masks on board some flights, as SIA joins other international airlines such as British Airways and Virgin Atlantic that have had similar policies in place since earlier this year.
Only passengers travelling to or from destinations that require a face mask on flights will need to wear one, said SIA in reply to media queries.
Masks are also not required in Changi Airport.
Countries are currently divided in their Covid-19 regulations. In Europe, Germany and Spain still require passengers to wear a mask while the Netherlands and the United Kingdom do not.
In South-east Asia, all countries require masks with the exception of Thailand. Australia requires masks while New Zealand does not, and Canada requires masks while the United States does not.
SIA said it will update its website on the changes to its mask-wearing rules as they evolve, and that passengers should constantly check for the latest version.
The airline's updating of its policy follows the latest guidelines from the Government, which remove the need for face masks in all indoor settings except public transport and healthcare facilities such as hospitals.
Industry observers have recommended the removal of the mask mandate from planes. The high rate of ventilation on planes means the risk of contracting Covid-19 on a flight is lower than the risk from other activities such as going to a shopping mall or working in an office, they said.
All SIA and Scoot planes are equipped with high-efficiency particulate air (Hepa) filters, which remove 99.97 per cent of airborne microbes, including virus and bacteria, and refresh the cabin air every two or three minutes.
Other airlines that also no longer mandate masks on board include London-based EasyJet, Scandinavian Airlines, Dutch carrier KLM and American ultra low-cost carrier Avelo Airlines.