KUALA LUMPUR (Sept 28): The Health Ministry (MOH) has announced that the wearing of face masks onboard aircraft is no longer compulsory effective from Wednesday.
Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin said this decision was made using a risk-based approach and after taking into consideration that aircraft technology has improved and Covid-19 cases in Malaysia had been brought under better control.
"(This is due to) good ventilation in cabins; use of high-efficiency particulate absorbing (HEPA) filters to remove airborne pollutants; forward seating arrangements and frequency of aircraft disinfection schedule,” he said in a statement on Wednesday.
However, wearing of face masks is encouraged for individuals with symptoms like fever, cough and flu; and high-risk individuals like senior citizens, people with chronic diseases, those with low immunity and pregnant women.
He said people travelling with high-risk individuals like senior citizens and children are also encouraged to continue wearing face masks onboard.
Khairy said the relaxation on the requirement to wear face masks in aircraft was in line with health recommendations from countries in the European Union, the United Kingdom, the United States, Australia, New Zealand and Singapore.
However, the need to wear face masks onboard aircraft is still subject to conditions set by countries travellers are visiting, he said.
The government made wearing of face masks compulsory beginning Aug 1, 2020 but on Sept 7 this year MOH announced it was no longer mandatory indoors and in public areas.