To wear or not to wear? As Covid restrictions ease and borders
reopen, this will become a new concern for travellers as a growing
number of Asian countries start to ditch their face mask policies in
In Singapore, where there was a strict mask mandate in place for the
past two years, it is no longer mandatory to wear masks in outdoor
places since the country eased many pandemic rules on 26 April. However,
people are still required to wear masks in indoor settings although
there is no longer any limit on group sizes. Safe distancing is also no
longer needed between individuals or between groups.
Similarly, Cambodia has also lifted its mask mandate for open public
places on 26 April. Mask wearing is still mandatory in indoor public
areas, including air-conditioned buildings and crowded places such as
Under Malaysia's new Covid-19 rules, the wearing of face masks is no
longer required outside buildings and in open spaces since 1 May. Face
masks are required while indoors and public transport vehicles, as well
as in crowded open spaces such as bazaars.
South Korea, which is the first country to reopen its borders in
North Asia, has also progressively eased its pandemic measures. Starting
2 May, South Korea’s outdoor mask mandate has been lifted but the rule
to wear a face mask in enclosed spaces remains in place. Outdoor subway
station platforms and amusement parks are considered outdoor, while
public transportation services such as buses, subways and trains, are
part of the indoor mask mandate.
Kong is also easing its Covid-related rules as the city gradually
reopens travel. From 5 May, beaches and pools are allowed to reopen and
restaurants will be allowed to seat eight people at a table, and
mask-wearing is optional during outdoor exercises. Come 19 May, bars and
clubs will also be allowed to reopen while the cruise ban will be
Although the mask policy is coming off, it is still common for people
across Asia to don face masks in outdoor settings for various reasons.
Some people find it inconvenient to put them on and off again as they
commute, while others continue to wear them to protect themselves or
their loved ones.