Nine in ten S’pore adults still wear a mask outdoors, despite no longer being mandated to

Fiona Robinson
May 27, 2022, 2:00 AM GMT+0

Protecting oneself from germs and the convenience of continuing to wear a mask when moving between indoor and outdoor spaces cited as most popular reasons for doing so

Singapore saw its most significant easing of safe management measures in end-April as caps on group sizes, capacity limits, and mandates on wearing a mask outdoors were removed, among others. While people in Singapore no longer have to wear a mask outdoors, nine in ten continue to (93%), with Gen Zs (98%) and Baby Boomers (97%) most likely to do so. Conversely, Millennials were most likely to say they never wear a mask when outdoors (11%).

A closer look at the frequency of outdoor mask-wearing indicates that the largest proportion of Singapore adults say they wear a mask outdoors all the time (49%), with Baby Boomers significantly more likely to say so (58%). A fewer one in five Singapore residents say they sometimes (20%) or often wear a mask outdoors (24%).

Protecting oneself from illness and germs was the top reason for continuing to wear a mask outdoors among the general population (68%) and all age groups. Around half also felt that doing so was the most convenient way to travel between outdoor and indoor settings (52%), since masks are still required when indoors. Protecting others from germs was the third most popular reason cited for wearing a mask outdoors despite it not being compulsory (43%).

Just under four in five say they continue to wear their masks because they have become used to doing so (37%). Gen Zs were most likely to express this opinion, with almost half feeling this way (48%).

Gen Zs were also most likely to say they do not remove their masks to not get judged by those who are wearing them, with a quarter saying so (25%) compared to a fewer one in ten of the general population (12%).

As for when residents will feel comfortable removing their masks outdoors all the time, majority said they would only do so once they feel it is safe (59%). Almost three in ten said they would make the change if the rules making mask-wearing indoors compulsory are removed (28%).

A further one in seven would always remove their mask outdoors when those around them do the same (15%), or when the daily case count falls below 1,000 for four weeks (13%), while another seventh say they will never change their mask-wearing behaviour (15%).

One in twenty already feel safe removing their masks outdoors, but do not do it all the time (6%).

***Results based on 1,009 Singapore residents surveyed on YouGov RealTime Omnibus. People who wear masks outdoors constituted 943 of the 1,009 respondents.