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The Government Tells Us Exactly How The New Mandatory Face Mask Rule Works

The Government Tells Us Exactly How The New Mandatory Face Mask Rule Works

The keyword is “crowded public areas”.

Akmal Hakim

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The Malaysian government came to clarify the country’s rules on face mask for the “new normal”.

Following public confusion over implementation of the nationwide mandatory face mask regulations in public spaces, Senior Minister (Defense) Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob told Malaysians to simply refer to standard operating procedures (SOP) detailed on the National Security Council’s webpage.

Read more: Unclear Face Mask Rules Leave Some Malaysians Confused, And Others Angry

The minister explained that it was only mandatory for the public to wear face masks in “public and crowded places” and areas where physical distancing cannot be avoided.

This includes indoor areas such as shopping malls, markets, public transportation, and entertainment centers, as well as outdoor settings such as popular tourist sites, open fields, beaches, and assumingly streets that are busy with pedestrians and even office buildings.

Simply put, each person is required to wear a face mask as soon as they step out of their homes to public areas where there’s people around to curb the spread of Covid-19 and to avoid getting fined.

Exceptions for the rule are only given to certain groups of people, including children below two, people who are exercising and those who are traveling alone or with family members in their own vehicles.

However, the minister also mentions that it was okay for people to not wear face masks in areas that are open enough to safely physically distance from each other.

If we just say public areas only, then football fields are public places. If the field is wide enough to allow for social distancing, then no need to wear a mask. That’s why we say tempat awam yang sesak (crowded public areas).

Senior Minister (Defense) Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob live on Facebook via Astro Awani

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