On Wednesday (7 September), Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin announced the use of face masks in enclosed spaces is now optional, with immediate effect.
In a press conference, Khairy said, however, that the use of face masks will still be compulsory when using public transportation and at medical institutions.
This also applies to those who are symptomatic or Covid-19 positive.
Masks still mandatory for:— Khairy Jamaluddin 🇲🇾🌺 (@Khairykj) September 7, 2022
1) Healthcare facilities (hospitals, clinics, care homes etc;
2) Public transport (buses, trains, airplanes, taxis, ride hailing).
Highly encouraged for crowded indoor settings.
Besides that, Khairy said premise owners are allowed to impose face mask rulings on visitors to their premises, despite it being optional.
He explained that the ministry still highly encourages face masks to be worn in crowded areas such as night markets, stadiums, shopping malls and places of worship.
“Since May 2022, it was a must to wear a mask indoors and in e-hailing. Based on current needs at the Ministry of Health now, we want to announce that wearing face masks indoors is optional now.”
“However, the premise owner can decide if patrons need or don’t need to wear face masks.”
“If they ask you to wear one then you must adhere to their wish and they have the right to refuse your entry,” Khairy said.
At the same time, Khairy also encouraged high-risk individuals such as the elderly, pregnant women, as well as those with chronic diseases or with low immunity to wear face masks.
Kenyataan Media Kementerian Kesihatan Malaysia— KKMalaysia🇲🇾😷 (@KKMPutrajaya) September 7, 2022
Semakan Semula Keperluan Pemakaian Pelitup Muka pic.twitter.com/X2qCCDGO3N
“Individuals doing activities with high-risk groups like the elderly and children are also advised to put on face masks.” Khairy added.
He said this decision was made based on the latest data in the country on infection and vaccination rates, as well as hospital admissions for Covid-19.
The face mask mandate was first implemented on 1 August 2020 and the ministry subsequently relaxed the ruling to apply to only indoor settings in May 2022.