SINGAPORE: Exposing Singapore Airlines Group’s (SIA Group) new policy allegedly prohibiting flight crews from wearing masks, a Scoot flight attendant has revealed that the policy has “caused an uproar among the flight attendants.”
SIA Group has since responded to the concerns. It has indicated that it has decided to give employees discretion on mask-wearing after initially sending an internal circular that was sent to all employees on Wednesday (24 May) detailing the ban on masks.
The Scoot flight attendant, who spoke to Channel 8 news on the condition of anonymity, shared the circular with the publication. The notice states that masks should not be worn while employees are in uniform from 1 June onwards unless the crew is heading to a destination where mask-wearing is still required.
Revealing that the ban on mask-wearing is “for a consistent and unified approach across the Group,” the circular said that SIA Group’s personal protective equipment (PPE) posture had been updated in line with the progressive relaxation of covid measures in Singapore.
The Scoot flight attendant who exposed the circular told Channel 8 that another staff member responded to the notice asking if they could wear a mask when cleaning the plane lavatories. SIA Group allegedly replied: “When wearing a uniform, you should not wear a mask.”
Pointing out that there are many flight routes where infection risks remain high, and passengers often board the plane sick and coughing, the Scoot flight attendant is worried that the mask ban will “expose flight attendants to the risk of disease transmission.”
“Every flight attendant has his own family, and the family members are elderly people or young children,” he said as he urged SIA Group to adjust measures to allow flight attendants to wear masks if they wish to.
SIA Group has since told Channel 8 news that it removed the mask requirements in line with the Singapore Government’s efforts to move to a new normal with endemic Covid. An SIA Group spokesman said:
“All SIA and Scoot pilots and cabin crew will no longer be required to wear face masks while on duty, except for destinations that require masks.”
He added that crew members who still wish to wear masks on duty when they travel to destinations that do not require mask-wearing can do so as they perform their duties.
The spokesman added: “The group will work to understand the concerns of cabin crew and work with them on how their wellbeing can be better protected during the flight.”