(Bloomberg) -- Singapore will further ease mask-wearing rules in health care facilities, saying the country has adjusted to living with Covid-19 as endemic without having to impose new curbs even during two major waves of infections.

From Friday, it will no longer be compulsory to wear masks in outpatient facilities which are deemed “lower-risk settings,” the Ministry of Health said in a statement. In higher-risk areas such as inpatient wards and emergency departments, masks will become a standing requirement for some groups to improve general infection control, it said.

“The Ministry of Health will progressively stand down the remaining Covid-19 response protocols, and integrate them into our broader public health programmes,” it said. 

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The ministry also said it had accepted an updated recommendation of an expert panel on Covid-19 vaccinations, which judged two initial doses of vaccines will be sufficient to ensure protection, down from the current recommendation of a minimum three doses.

Still, it encouraged those offered additional doses to get them administered.

Last year, Singapore saw Covid cases jump to more than 32,000 weekly amid the spread of the JN.1 variant, a sublineage of BA.2.86 of the coronavirus. The ministry attributed the surge in infections to waning population immunity and increased interactions during the year-end travel, among other factors.

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