August 29: Face Masks in Schools Now Optional

Students at international and local schools in Singapore can remove their face masks in the classroom next week, as the government announces plans to ease Covid-19 precautions.
This article is part of an editorial series on Covid-19
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This article is part of an editorial series on Covid-19

Students will no longer be required to wear face masks in Singapore's schools from August 29. Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong has announced that face masks will soon only be required on public transport and in healthcare settings such as clinics and hospitals, as well as in nursing homes. They will be optional on school buses and private buses. 

After announcing in his National Day Rally speech that the Covid-19 situation in Singapore has stabilised, Prime Minister Lee said masks will be optional in most indoor settings – including all schools. The exact date for when masks will be optional indoors – and when students can stop wearing masks in the classroom – has been announced as August 29. 

Covid-19 cases in Singapore have fallen from a high of above 10,000 cases during a peak in mid-July to around 3,000 on August 20, according to a seven-day moving average released by the Health Ministry.

PM Lee assured parents that the Government has assessed it is safe to relax mask requirements in schools. He said:

"For schools in particular, we should not need masks in class. I know parents are a little bit worried, but I think there is no need to worry, we have assessed it, we think it is safe.

"The children do need to be able to see the facial expressions of their teachers and of each other. You have to learn to read faces. Is he angry? Is he happy? Did he say ‘ter’ or ‘the’? ‘Ker’ or ‘ger’? Otherwise you grow up with a blank space in your brain. It is crucial for their learning and development. 

Do you agree that masks should no longer be compulsory in the classroom? Let us know your thoughts - email [email protected]

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