The Covid-19 pandemic hit the world since 2020 has made many countries in the world try hard to fight it. As a result, several countries have started to switch status from pandemic to endemic. Recently, two Indonesia’s neighboring countries have begun to loosen the rules by waiving the obligation to wear masks. Who are these two countries?
According to circulating data, the daily cases of Covid-19 around the world continue to decline. In the latest report from WHO, during the week of April 18 to 24, 2022, the UN agency noted that there were 4.5 million more cases and 15,000 deaths reported. It decreased by 21% and 20%, respectively, compared to the previous week.
The easing of Covid-19 regulations was also carried out by neighboring Indonesia. One form is not requiring masks outdoors (outdoor). The two countries are Malaysia and Singapore.
Malaysia will not require masks out of stock from 1 May. The government announced it Wednesday (27/4/2022).
Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin said that this was done because the number of cases of severe COVID-19 symptoms had begun to decline considerably. According to him, this is also balanced by public awareness of the prevention rules implemented by the government.
“The use of masks outdoors is optional,” he said at a press conference, Wednesday (27/4/2022).
However, the government insists that masks are still needed indoors. Including shopping centers and public transportation.
Masks are also recommended in crowded outdoor areas. Such as markets, stadiums, or areas with large crowds.
For foreign tourists who want to enter Malaysia, all mandatory Covid tests will be waived for those who are fully vaccinated. This also applies to those who have recovered from Covid-19 infection, six to 60 days before the departure date as well as travelers aged 12 years and under.
However, travelers who have not been fully vaccinated will still have to undergo tests and a mandatory five-day quarantine. Meanwhile, travel insurance is no longer a prerequisite for foreigners entering the country.
Singapore itself has been easing since March 29. One of them is the mandatory mask regulation.
Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong at the time said the mandatory outdoor mask would be removed. However, masks are still mandatory in indoor and public transportation until now.
Most recently, starting on April 26 yesterday, the Singapore government revoked several rules regarding entry requirements for travelers. The Covid-19 test before leaving for the country does not apply to those who have been vaccinated.
The rule limiting the number of people gathering in one group has also been removed. In addition, employees are allowed to return to work from the office.
“With these changes, we can now have a decent breath, after two very difficult years fighting the virus,” said Minister of Finance and Co-Chair of Singapore’s Coronavirus Task Force Lawrence Wong, as reported by Reuters.
“However, let’s always remember, even though we are getting closer to the finish line, the race is not over and the pandemic is certainly not over.
Cases that have passed the peak are the reason the rules are relaxed. Singapore also noted that 93% of its 5.5 million population had received two vaccine injections, aka one of the highest in the world.