PUTRAJAYA: The wearing of face masks will no longer be mandatory outdoors from May 1, health minister Khairy Jamaluddin announced today.
In a press conference, Khairy said face masks were still “strongly encouraged” to be used outdoors and in open areas such as bazaars.
However, he stressed that it is still mandatory to wear face masks while indoors and while using public transport, which includes e-hailing services.
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“We will still enforce face mask rules indoors,” he said.
However, Khairy said face masks could be temporarily removed indoors for activities such as strenuous exercise, when eating or drinking, and when performing.
“The health ministry encourages the wearing of face masks outdoors, particularly when in crowded areas like bazaars and stadiums, for symptomatic individuals and also for high-risk individuals.”
Previously, Khairy said the wearing of face masks would remain mandatory as the country transitioned to the Covid-19 endemic phase.
He said face masks must continue to be worn, especially in enclosed areas, because experts say it is one of the best ways to protect against the virus.
Malaysia began transitioning to the endemic phase on April 1, with several SOPs loosened for day-to-day living.
Khairy also said that although it was not mandatory for schoolchildren to wear face masks when outdoors, it was strongly encouraged for unvaccinated children, especially in crowded outdoor areas such as school canteens.
Meanwhile, the minister also said that those who tested positive for Covid-19 could be released from their home surveillance order (HSO) on Day 4 should they test negative then.
He said these individuals must take an RTK-Ag test supervised by a certified medical practitioner either in person or via virtual meeting to have their status updated.
“Also, (the act of) ‘Salam’ is now allowed. However, individuals must wash or clean their hands and not touch their face after shaking hands,” he said.
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