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Malaysia lifts indoor mask mandate, excluding public transportation and healthcare settings

Premise owners are allowed to decide whether to impose their own mask requirements. 

Malaysia lifts indoor mask mandate, excluding public transportation and healthcare settings

Shoppers wearing face masks take photos with their mobile phones along the staircase of a shopping mall in Kuala Lumpur on Dec 22, 2020. (Photo: AFP/Mohd Rasfan)

Malaysia on Wednesday (Sep 7) scrapped its mask mandate for indoor settings, with premise owners allowed to decide whether to impose their own face mask requirements. 

“Face masks indoors will be optional effective immediately,” said Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin, adding that masks remain mandatory for COVID-19 cases, and in public transport and healthcare facilities. 

Healthcare facilities include hospitals, clinics and nursing homes while public transport covers e-hailing services, flights, taxis and trains. 

Masks are "highly encouraged" for crowded indoor settings, he added. 

High-risk individuals, those who are ill or symptomatic, as well as individuals who interact with vulnerable groups are also encouraged to keep their masks on.

Those who test positive for COVID-19 - and are required to undergo health checks at COVID-19 Assessment Centres (CAC) - will still need to put on masks.

The Health Minister said that although the wearing of masks indoors was no longer compulsory, premise owners could decide on the mask requirements for their premises, such as making them mandatory or optional. 

Members of the public are still strongly encouraged to keep their masks on as it stops the spread of COVID-19, said the Health Ministry in a statement. 

Malaysia did away with outdoor masking from May this year but continued to require them indoors and on public transport.

The latest easing of measures comes amid the country’s improving COVID-19 situation, said the ministry, adding that collective responsibility is still necessary to ensure the safety of the community. 

New daily COVID-19 cases in Malaysia have been on a decline since a peak of more than 30,000 infections in March this year. More than 84 per cent of the eligible population have also been vaccinated. 

As of Tuesday, Malaysia has recorded a total of 4,795,009 since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, with 36,255 fatalities. 

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Source: CNA/zl(ac)


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