‘Surreal’ and ‘freeing’: Singapore residents on walking around outdoors without a mask


SINGAPORE: “Surreal.” “Freeing.” “Liberation.” After two years of getting to put on a mask anyplace exterior their houses, some Singapore residents described their elation at having the ability to shed their face coverings on Tuesday (Mar 29), because the nation lifted its out of doors mask mandate.

Singapore rolled out its most important easing of COVID-19 measures from Tuesday, together with making the sporting of masks outdoors optionally available and doubling the group dimension for social gatherings to 10 individuals.

Mr Sam Lee, 28 and Ms Winnie Fok, 26, took off their masks after exiting Mandarin Gallery alongside Orchard Road.

“My face can finally feel the wind,” Mr Lee informed CNA.

“I’m quite happy to take off my mask, but it was a bit awkward at first. We were just looking around to see, actually not a lot of people have taken off, so we were worried if it’s the correct date,” he stated.

Observing that most individuals they noticed walking alongside Orchard Road nonetheless had their masks on, Ms Fok stated that the majority Singapore residents appeared to nonetheless be “quite cautious”.

Not having to put on a mask, nevertheless, was “very freeing and surreal” for her, she added with a smile.

When CNA visited Ang Mo Kio Central and the areas close to Chong Boon Market and Food Centre on Tuesday morning, the one individuals who weren’t sporting masks have been consuming or ingesting.

Most individuals additionally put their masks on after they completed their meals and left the meals centre.

Lunchtime on the central enterprise district painted a related image as colleagues headed out to eat collectively. Even after leaving their workplace buildings, the vast majority of staff saved their masks on.

Some had their masks off whereas carrying their takeaway meals. There have been additionally a number of individuals sitting around Raffles Place Park without their masks.


At about 1pm in Orchard Road, there have been some individuals walking alongside the streets without their masks – greater than within the heartlands – however most nonetheless saved their masks on after exiting buying centres.

Wesley, a 31-year-old monetary advisor who was within the Somerset space, stated he determined to not put on a mask as a result of the climate was very heat.

“I don’t want to sweat in my mask,” he stated with a chuckle.

“It feels like liberation. I’m happy about it.”

When requested whether or not he felt protected shedding his face masking, he shared that he would mask up if there was a crowd.

“If I do see a crowd like this, then I’ll put on my mask or walk away. But otherwise, I’ll just not wear one outside,” Wesley stated, gesturing at a crowd gathered at a pedestrian crossing close by.

“This entire an infection factor actually relies upon on the viral load. If it’s outdoors, anyone who coughs or sneezes, all of it disperses in a short time.

“But if it’s indoors, not so much… I don’t think they should remove it indoors.”

Wesley added that he believed most individuals have been nonetheless sporting masks outdoors “out of habit” and that “sooner or later”, individuals would dispose of them.


Other individuals CNA spoke to have been extra cautious.

Although Ms Kannagii, 57, was pleased to listen to that the COVID-19 restrictions have been being eased, she nonetheless left the home sporting a mask this morning.

“If you go inside somewhere, you still need to wear a mask. What if you forget to bring out the mask? And also for our personal safety,” she added.

Ms Kannagii, who was having breakfast together with her brother at Chong Boon Market and Food Centre, stated she would think about removing the face masking if the COVID-19 scenario improved or if the mask requirement was lifted for indoor areas as effectively.

“If I’m going to a park for a walk, and I’m coming straight home, then it’s fine to go without a mask. But if I’m going to a market or a hawker centre, then I might as well wear one,” she stated, including that it “doesn’t make sense” to take off her mask for the quick stroll from her dwelling to the market.

Even although she is going to proceed to put on her mask exterior for now, Ms Kannagii stated the easing of restrictions was “still a good sign” that the COVID-19 scenario was bettering.

Retiree Mdm Tan (not her actual title) stated she would proceed to put on a mask even when restrictions are eased additional.

The 63-year-old was sporting two masks, a reusable one below a disposable one, whereas resting on a bench exterior Chong Boon Market and Food Centre.

“I’m already used to it, it’s already a habit,” she added.

She stated her husband was very pleased when the announcement was made final week, and declared that he would cease sporting masks. He has coronary heart issues, and looks like he can breathe higher when he’s not sporting one, Mdm Tan defined.

Despite what he stated, he nonetheless left the home sporting a mask this morning.

“We’re quite old, so I think it’s better to protect ourselves,” she added.

For Ms Jen Yang and Lyn (who declined to provide her full title), masking up outdoors stays a type of safety for them.

The two associates had their masks after they left the home, and didn’t take away them the entire day, whilst they waited on the visitors gentle exterior Takashimaya.

“It’s troublesome to take it off and put it back on,” stated Lyn, 30. “I think I will wear one for quite a while.”

Ms Yang, 28, stated she would cease sporting a mask outdoors when the vast majority of individuals in Singapore do the identical.

“I’ll remove it when I can remove my mask anywhere. Now it’s very troublesome, especially if you forget to bring one, and I don’t like to pull it down on my chin.”

'Surreal' and 'freeing': Singapore residents on walking around outdoors without a mask

Ang Hwee Min

Source : channelnewsasia.com

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