Singapore Airlines ends mask mandate for crew

Singapore Airlines will no longer require its cabin crew to mask from June 2023 onwards, calling time on a 3-year policy.

Singapore Airlines removed its mask mandate in August 2022, in line with Singapore’s move to drop indoor masking. Passengers would no longer be required to mask, unless the country they were flying to/from required it.

As COVID restrictions were rolled back globally, more and more destinations removed the need for masks, and by October 2022 no Singapore Airlines flights above seven hours required it.

Mask-wearing has been compulsory for SIA crew since mid-2020 | Photo: SIA

Singapore Airlines crew discontinued their eyewear, but were still required to wear masks, despite CAAS removing the legal requirement in August 2022. That’s finally going to change from next month onwards.

SIA crew no longer required to mask from June 2023

Mask mandates for crew will end in June 2023 | Photo: SIA

Singapore Airlines has confirmed that crew will no longer be required to mask on mask-optional routes effective 1 June 2023, ending a policy that lasted for three years. The same will apply to Scoot crew as well. 

An internal memo sent out by the two airlines stated that in order for the SIA Group to maintain a “unified and consistent approach”, flight attendants “should not wear masks” while in uniform.

However, if a flight is heading to, or departing from a destination where masks are mandatory, flight attendants must wear masks in accordance with local government regulations.

There’s been some confusion as to whether crew who still want to wear masks will be allowed to do so. 

An internal memo sent out by the two airlines stated that for SIA Group to maintain a “unified and consistent approach”, flight attendants “should not wear masks” while in uniform.

However, an SIA spokesperson has clarified that crew who wish to wear a mask on mask-optional routes will “still be able to continue with their duties”. 

Frankly, it doesn’t matter all that much to me whether or not the crew is masked. The way I see it, they should get the same discretion as passengers, and while it’s nice to see smiles, those who prefer to mask because of medically vulnerable family members or simply personal choice should be allowed to take precautions. 

More important is that crew who are ill are able to take medical leave without fear of penalties.  You might remember this post from 2017 regarding the airline’s medical leave policy, which I really hope has been updated since.

Which SIA routes still require masks?

SIA flights still requiring masking

Masks have disappeared from all Singapore Airlines flights, with the exception of Myanmar, Nepal and the Philippines. 

Myanmar and Nepal require masks on flights to and from Singapore, while masks are only required on flights to the Philippines. 

All other SIA destinations are completely mask-free. You can check the latest travel advisories for your upcoming trip, including mask regulations, via this link. 

Conclusion

Crew at the 2018 inaugural SIN-EWR non-stop flight

From June 2023 onwards, Singapore Airlines crew will no longer be required to mask unless the destination they are flying to/from requires it. This marks the end of a three-year long policy, and returns the cabin, optically speaking, to pre-COVID days (yes, I know the hot towel’s still missing!)

Cabin crew I’ve spoken with tell me the mask requirement doesn’t bother them so much; some of them even appreciate it during certain tasks like cleaning the lavatories. Hopefully those who wish to continue masking for personal reasons will be given the leeway to do so. 

Aaron Wong
Aaron Wong
Aaron founded The Milelion to help people travel better for less and impress chiobu. He was 50% successful.

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