SINGAPORE- The Multi-Ministry Taskforce of Singapore has announced further easing of community Safe Management Measures (SMMs) for COVID-19.

Deputy Prime Minister Lawrence Wong stated during a news conference to announce the relaxation of the masks mandate that masks will only be required in two locations from August 29.

The first is healthcare facilities, residential care facilities, ambulances, and indoor areas within hospitals and polyclinics and the second is public transport.

Mask-wearing in the airport and on private transport modes such as school buses, private bus services, and taxis will be optional, he said.

However, Wong cautioned that while the pandemic situation is much better today, Singaporeans must be mentally prepared for any sudden change as the next COVID-19 variant could be more aggressive and dangerous.

Health Minister Ong Ye Kung said that Singapore should prepare itself for a “northern hemisphere winter wave” at the end of the year, which the United States, United Kingdom, and Europe are all bracing for.

Vaccination remains the primary line of defense, said the multi-ministry task force, which is co-chaired by Deputy Prime Minister Wong, Health Minister Ong, and Trade and Industry Minister Gan Kim Yong.

Border measures will be eased, as non-fully vaccinated travelers entering Singapore will not need to undergo a seven-day stay-home notice (SHN) upon arrival.

In Thailand, the requirement to wear a mask has been removed, and passengers are no longer required to apply for the Thailand Pass.

Worldwide COVID rules are still undergoing change. According to the most recent reports, Japan will relax entrance requirements beginning in September.

They will no longer require passengers who have taken three doses of the Covid-19 vaccination to undergo pre-departure testing. Additionally, the daily admission limits could be raised and the quarantine periods could be lowered.

In the meantime, China relaxed visa requirements for some business travelers and students, giving preference to those possessing travel authorizations from the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation group.

Beginning September 1, Chile will relax its entrance requirements for fully vaccinated tourists by eliminating the demand for a negative PCR test.

France has lifted all travel restrictions related to COVID-19, including vaccination and testing requirements.

International travelers to Canada are subject to additional border restrictions through at least September 30.

Australia has removed the demand for immunization documentation from other countries.

In Thailand, the requirement to wear a mask has been removed, and passengers are no longer required to apply for the Thailand Pass.

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