The decision was reached after considering the improving Covid-19 situation in the country as well as technological advancement and better aircraft practice.
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Malaysia has dropped the mandatory rule to wear face masks on flights to and from the country effective yesterday (28 September).
The decision to scrap the regulation, according to Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin Abu Bakar, was made due to the improving Covid-19 situation, as well as technological advancement and better aircraft practice.
“These include good cabin ventilation, usage of high-efficiency particulate absorbing filters to remove airborne pollutants, forward seating arrangement and frequency of aeroplane disinfection scheduling.
“The country’s Covid-19 caseload is also more manageable.
“The decision was made using a risk-based approach, which has taken into account improvements in aircraft technology and practices.
“The relaxation is also in line with health recommendations from countries such as the European Union, Britain, the United States, Australia, New Zealand and Singapore,” Khairy was quoted by The Star.
Khairy also thanked Malaysia Airlines chief executive officer Izham Ismail for assuring the government about the cleanliness of its aircraft.
However, Khairy said that the Health Ministry advised high-risk individuals – including those with symptoms such as fever, cough and cold, elderly folk, pregnant mothers, and people with chronic diseases or low immunity – to continue using a face mask on flights.
Masks are now optional on airplanes with immediate effect. Thank you @MAS CEO Capt Izham for the discussion earlier and reassurances of air quality & cleanliness on airplanes. https://t.co/PAV57VLSNC pic.twitter.com/9K0DPHJILN— Khairy Jamaluddin 🇲🇾🌺 (@Khairykj) September 28, 2022
“Individuals travelling with high-risk people such as children or the elderly should also continue wearing masks on flights,” Khairy added.
The decision means that the public is now only required to wear a face mask on other public transportation such as trains, buses, taxis and e-hailing vehicles as well as at health facilities including hospitals and other medical institutions.
The ministry also encourages the public to wear face-mask in crowded places.
Malaysia had on 7 September ditched the requirement to wear face masks in an outdoor public setting.