Is the comma optional?

According to an NEA spokesman, to date, all five operators have issued every stallholder either a letter or amended agreement on the revised contract terms.

“All stallholders of the seven hawker centres have also acknowledged receipt of these agreements. From the feedback we have received so far, these changes have been welcomed by the stallholders at the seven new hawker centres,” said the NEA spokesman.

Is the comma after ‘to date’ required?


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I think it sounds better with the comma. If we substituted “up till now” instead of “to date”, it would be more obvious that the comma is needed.