SINGAPORE — Nine out of 10 Singapore adults still wear a mask outdoors, despite no such requirement under the eased COVID-19 curbs, according to a survey released on Friday (27 May).
Over eight in 10 respondents have not patronised any nightlife establishments after they were allowed to fully reopen from 19 April, following two-year-long curbs due to the pandemic.
Findings also showed that eight in 10 have not interacted in social groups of more than 10 people, despite the removal of group limits.
The study, conducted by UK-based YouGov's Omnibus online research service, polled a nationally representative sample of 1,009 adults aged 18 and above in Singapore on 5 May.
Of those who mask up outdoors, five in 10 said that they wear one all the time. Fewer than one in five say they sometimes or often wear a mask outdoors.
Among those surveyed, protecting oneself from illness and germs was the top reason for continuing to wear a mask outdoors.
Around half also felt that doing so was the most convenient way to travel between outdoor and indoor settings.
The third most popular reason cited for wearing a mask outdoors is to protect others from germs. This was followed by those who are used to the habit and the fear of being judged by those who wear a mask.
Less than one in 10 respondents indicate that they mask up so that they can mouth expletives to people without them knowing.
Almost six in 10 say they will feel comfortable removing their masks outdoors all the time once they feel it is safe, while some three in 10 say they will do so once indoor mask-wearing is no longer mandated.
Some 15 per cent indicate they will never change their mask-wearing behaviour.
Findings also showed that millennials, or those born between 1981 and 1996, were most likely to say they do not mask up when outdoors. Respondents were not surveyed on why they choose to remove their masks.
The mandate on outdoor mask-wearing in Singapore was lifted on 29 March due to the significantly lower risk of transmission. However, most Singaporeans still “cautiously chose” to wear their masks outdoors despite the rule easing, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said in a Facebook post on 7 April.
Authorities also further eased COVID-19 curbs from 26 April as Singapore lowered its Disease Outbreak Response System Condition (DORSCON) alert level from orange to yellow.
These included the lifting of limits on group sizes and workplace capacities, as well as the removal of safe distancing requirement and check-ins with the TraceTogether application or token at most venues.
To date, 1,286,216 COVID-19 cases have been recorded in Singapore, with 1,382 succumbing to the virus.
As of Wednesday, 92 per cent of the city-state's total population have completed their full COVID-19 vaccine regimen, while 76 per cent have received their booster shots.
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