Face masks in public compulsory from Aug 1

Beginning Aug 1, the use of face masks will be a must in public places including on public transportation.

KUALA LUMPUR: Senior Minister for Security Ismail Sabri Yaakob says the use of face masks in public places will be made compulsory from Aug 1.

The same rule will apply when taking public transport.

Members of the public would need to wear a face mask when taking the bus or LRT or at crowded sites like markets where social distancing is not observed.

This comes days after Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin said the government was considering making the use of face masks mandatory in public.

“The public can use homemade face masks as long as it follows the specifications set by the World Health Organization. The health ministry will distribute these specifications,” he said at a press conference here this afternoon.

Ismail went on to say that the government had previously not made the wearing of face masks mandatory as it would burden the lower-income group as most face masks were the disposable type.

And if there were many in one household, they would need to spend a lot on purchasing face masks.

Ismail said those who fail to comply with this ruling would either be issued a compound fine or hauled up to court.

On a related matter, Ismail said many restaurant and hawker stall operators had failed to enforce social distancing at their premises. This has resulted in patrons seating very close to each other.

“And this can lead to an increase in the number of Covid-19 cases. In fact, there is a restaurant cluster already in Brickfields, all because social distancing was not observed.”

Ismail said police will now monitor restaurants nationwide and stern action would be taken against errant operators, including shutting down the restaurant, if customers do not observe social distancing or owners do not enforce it.