KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 7 — The Ministry of Health (MOH) has stipulated that the use of face masks indoors is now optional, with immediate effect.
Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin when announcing the matter said, however, that premises owners could still determine whether visitors were required to wear one.
Nevertheless, he said, the use of face masks was still mandatory for positive cases of COVID-19 who needed to go to the COVID-19 Assessment Centre (CAC) to undergo a health assessment.
“It is also mandatory while using public transportation services such as buses, trains, taxis including e-hailing services, airplanes and buses, employee vans and school vans, and while in health facilities such as hospitals, clinics, nursing homes, hemodialysis centres, and the like,” he said in a press conference after officiating the International Generic and Biosimilar Medicines Association (IGBA) – Malaysian Organisation of Pharmaceutical Industries (MOPI) Conference here, today.
He said the decision was made based on an assessment of the COVID-19 situation as well as taking into account current needs.
The wearing of face masks had been made mandatory on Aug 1, 2020, to curb the COVID-19 pandemic.
On May 1 this year, the government decided to make donning face masks optional outdoors, but still required them to be worn indoors and in public transport including e-hailing services.
Khairy said the public was still strongly encouraged to wear a face mask, because it had been proven to reduce the spread of infection.
“MOH also strongly encourages the wearing of face masks to be continued, especially in crowded areas such as night markets, stadiums, shopping centres and houses of worship,” he said.
The use of face masks is also encouraged for individuals with symptoms such as fever, cough and cold, high-risk individuals such as the elderly, those suffering from chronic diseases, individuals with low immunity and pregnant mothers, as well as those who perform activities with high-risk people such as the elderly and children.