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Face masks no longer mandatory on planes

MalaysiaNow logo MalaysiaNow 28/9/2022 Staff Writers
© Provided by MalaysiaNow

The use of face masks will no longer be mandatory on planes, Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin announced today, three weeks after the face mask mandate was effectively lifted for most settings, both indoors and outdoors. 

In a statement, he said the new protocol was effective today onwards. 

He said the decision was made taking into consideration the improvements in plane technology and Malaysia's Covid-19 caseload which was presently under control.

He also cited factors such as good air circulation in cabins, the use of high-efficiency particulate absorbing filters, the forward facing arrangement of seats, and the frequency of onboard disinfection exercises. 

"This easing of restrictions is also in line with health recommendations from countries like the European Union, the UK, US, Australia, New Zealand and Singapore," he said, adding however that the need for face masks during flights would remain at the discretion of the destination countries. 

He also encouraged the continued use of face masks for those with symptoms like fever, cough and cold, those in the high-risk category, and those travelling with such individuals including senior citizens and children. 

The government made the use of face masks mandatory at the peak of the pandemic on Aug 1, 2020.

Face masks were made optional outdoors on May 1, as part of the country's move towards the endemic phase of Covid-19. 

On Sept 1, the use of face masks was made optional indoors as well, with the exception of healthcare facilities and public transport including e-hailing vehicles.

Individual premises were also given the option of insisting on the use of face masks.  

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