It’s been eight months since Singapore Airlines relaxed its mask mandate in line with government advisories, applying the rule only on board flights subjected to the requirement by the destination country, rather than maintaining its blanket mask-wearing policy, which had been in effect since June 2020.
While that was great news for passengers flying to and from many cities on the network, unfortunately at the time it meant only around 40% of its flights no longer imposed mandatory mask wearing, due to regulations still being applied by countries outside Singapore.
Thankfully that list has become smaller and smaller, with the latest relaxations from Cambodia, China, Indonesia, South Korea and Vietnam now meaning that 96% of SIA flights are currently mask-optional, almost the entire network.
For cabin crew, however, a mask mandate remains in place on board SIA flights for the time being.
Mask mandates have progressively relaxed
Thankfully as you probably know the world has progressively relaxed its mask-wearing edicts over the last year or so, with most countries ditching their requirements for passengers on aircraft to wear a face covering, now leaving this to personal discretion.
In February this year, Spain also dropped its in-flight mask mandate, becoming the last European country to do so, which was great news ahead of SIA’s upcoming return to non-stop Barcelona flights, which at one point were looking like they might become the longest on the network with a mask-wearing mandate applied.
Bangladesh and Hong Kong have also recently relaxed this restriction, and most recently Cambodia, China, Indonesia, South Korea and Vietnam have followed suit.
It means at the time of writing 96% of Singapore Airlines services are now mask-optional, almost the entire network.
Singapore Airlines mask requirements
Singapore Airlines no longer provides a handy list of mask-wearing requirements by destination, instead moving this information to its COVID-19 ‘Travel advisories’ portal.
We’ve crunched the database country-by-country and here’s how SIA’s mask requirements now look, following the latest relaxations.
Singapore Airlines Flights
(updated 8th May 2023)
Flying from Singapore
Flying to Singapore
|All other countries|
As you can see from the list, there are now only three countries requiring passengers to wear masks on flights, meaning only 70 of SIA’s 1,840 weekly passenger services impose this annoying restriction, which is those on the following routes:
- Cebu (7/wk)
- Davao (7/wk)
- Kathmandu (7/wk)
- Manila (28/wk)
- Yangon (7/wk)
In the case of Cebu, Davao and Manila flights there is some reprieve at least – mask-wearing is optional on inbound sectors to Singapore.
The longest Singapore Airlines flights now requiring masks to be worn are:
- Singapore – Davao – Cebu: 5h 45m
- Singapore – Kathmandu: 5h 30m
- Kathmandu – Singapore: 5h 5m
Thankfully the days of enduring mandatory mask-wearing on flights all the way to or from Europe or the USA are now a distant memory, and hopefully will remain so.
Crew are still required to wear masks
If it’s the beaming smiles of Singapore Airlines’ cabin crew you’re missing the most since the pandemic came about, do be aware that you’ll have to wait a little longer to see this.
While airlines like Cathay Pacific have shifted to a mask-optional approach for crew, Singapore Airlines still requires its cabin crew and pilots to wear face masks on board all flights.
Mask-wearing by crew is no longer part of the latest Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS) directive related to COVID-19, having been removed from the original version on 25th August 2022, at the same time mask-wearing by passengers was deleted from the regulations.
This therefore appears to be a precaution taken by the airline itself, for the time being.
We look forward to the day that cabin crew, like passengers, will also have the choice whether to wear a face or not mask on board SIA flights.
Like testing and vaccination requirements to enter countries quarantine-free, mask-wearing mandates on flights have been gradually falling away across the Singapore Airlines network.
Practically all the carrier’s flights – 96% at the time of writing – now don’t require you don a face covering on board if you don’t wish to, with Cambodia, China, Indonesia, South Korea and Vietnam services being the latest to join the list of relaxed routes.
Crucially, there are no longer any SIA flights exceeding 5 hours 45 minutes on the network with a mask-wearing requirement in place, which is great news for those previously dreading some of the carrier’s longer Europe and North America-bound services for this reason.
Cabin crew are still bound by a mask-wearing directive by the airline, and we’re hopeful that the approach already taken by the likes of Cathay Pacific will see this too become an optional policy in the months ahead.
(Cover Photo: Singapore Airlines)