Thursday, 30 Jul 2020
PUTRAJAYA: It may be compulsory for the public to wear face masks when they leave their homes.

The authorities have already announced that face masks will be compulsory at public and crowded areas from Aug 1.

Health director-general Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said the eventual plan was to get everyone to put on face masks once they stepped out of their homes.

“But masks must be made available to the needy first. Everyone must have excess to a face mask,” he said at an engagement session with the media yesterday.

Dr Noor Hisham, however, did not specify the kind of crowded public places where the use of face masks would be mandatory.

This ruling has been implemented for public transportation and flights.

“If you are walking alone, there is no need to wear a face mask. If you are in public area and the place is crowded and social distancing cannot be done, the use of a face mask is mandatory,” said Dr Hisham.

The authorities are also looking at how to prevent overcrowding when students leave classes to take their transport home.

“During this time, students will crowd together, and we should avoid this. We are looking at whether students can be released in stages to avoid overcrowding,” he said.

Dr Noor Hisham noted there had been no incident of Covid-19 cases in schools since they reopened.

“With standard operating procedures in place, schools are a safe place. If there are risks, we will manage it by closing the affected school,” he added.

Meanwhile, Deputy Inspector-General of Police Datuk Mazlan Mansor said those who still refused to wear face masks come Aug 1 would be severely dealt with.

He said compliance task forces would be out daily to ensure everyone followed the SOP.

“They will be out making sure everyone wears face masks, especially when going into crowded places.

“We should not take this issue lightly. We are still under the recovery movement control order (MCO),” he told reporters after launching the Sentul police headquarters yesterday.

He urged Malaysians to not let the last four months of hard work go to waste.

“I am aware that that certain people are flouting the MCO. Just recently in Petaling Jaya, 310 individuals were issued compounds for not practicing social distancing in an entertainment outlet,” he said.