KUALA LUMPUR, July 23 — The use of face masks in crowded public spaces and on public transportation will be made compulsory beginning August 1.
Senior Minister (Security Cluster) Datuk Seri Ismail Yaakob said those who flout this directive can be slapped with a RM1,000 compound notice under the Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases Act 1988.
“This decision was made at the special ministerial meeting on the Movement Control Order (MCO),” he told a media conference on developments concerning the Recovery Movement Control Order (RMCO) in Parliament today.
Ismail Sabri said in addition to advice from the Health Ministry (MOH), the decision was reached after taking into account the emergence of new clusters.
He said for now, the ruling would only be enforced for public transportation such as Light RailTransit (LRT) and Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) and crowded public spaces such as markets and farmers’ markets (pasar tani).
As for those who intend to stitch their own face masks, Ismail Sabri said the Health Ministry will soon be issuing guidelines to ensure these self-stitched face masks comply with specifications and conditions set by the World Health Organisation (WHO).
“The government had all this while not made it (use of face masks) mandatory as we understand the situation faced by those from the lower-income group in purchasing the disposable type.
“This is because for disposable masks, it is best to change to new ones after three hours. A large family would find this costly, so WHO has come out with guidelines for non-disposable face masks, but on the condition, they meet specifications,” he said.