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Face masks to be made optional outdoors, MySejahtera check-ins scrapped

Physical distancing requirements will also be scrapped once the latest easing of SOPs takes effect on May 1.

Staff Writers
2 minute read
Pedestrians wearing face masks to curb the spread of Covid-19 cross a junction in the Bukit Bintang shopping district in Kuala Lumpur.
Pedestrians wearing face masks to curb the spread of Covid-19 cross a junction in the Bukit Bintang shopping district in Kuala Lumpur.

Face masks will be made optional outdoors and in open areas although they will still be mandatory indoors and on public transportation including for e-hailing services, Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin announced today as part of the latest easing of SOPs, to take effect on May 1.

He said the health ministry nevertheless encouraged the continued use of face masks outdoors, especially in crowded places like bazaars and night markets, and by symptomatic individuals and those in the high-risk group or when participating in activities that involve such groups.

Khairy also said that physical distancing would no longer be necessary although the practice is still recommended in areas where face masks are not worn.

The requirement to check in using the MySejahtera application will also be scrapped, he said in a press conference at the health ministry today.

Meanwhile, individuals who test positive for Covid-19 can be released from quarantine on the fourth day instead of the seventh, as is currently the case, if they are confirmed as negative by then through an RTK Antigen test supervised by a medical practitioner from the Malaysian Medical Council.

If they still test positive, they need to complete the full seven days of isolation.

Khairy also said that vaccination status will no longer be a factor in whether individuals are allowed into premises.

“Premise owners only need to check whether customers are positive or not,” he said. “Only those who are positive and under home surveillance order will not be allowed to enter.”

Under the relaxed SOPs, pre-departure and on-arrival Covid-19 tests will no longer be required for those aged 13 and above who have completed their vaccination, those with a history of Covid-19 within the past six to 60 days, and those aged 12 and below regardless of vaccination status.

“All testing protocols have been dropped for these categories,” Khairy said, adding however that unvaccinated travellers and those who have yet to complete their vaccination will still need to follow the existing protocol for testing.

Travellers who are symptomatic upon arrival meanwhile will be told to test for Covid-19 at the entry point.

Khairy also said that all activities previously included on the negative list under the previous SOPs will be allowed from May 15 onwards.