National Recovery Council chairman Muhyiddin Yassin yesterday said that the decision to make the use of face masks indoors optional was based on data and scientific studies from a public health point of view.
He said everyone should accept the decision as many countries including the UK have allowed their citizens to do away with face masks when in public vehicles or in crowded places.
"I think this is a good development. We can't force (people to wear face masks) if the (Covid-19) situation has improved, and we also need to think about comfort. We just have to be careful.
"If we feel uncomfortable and want to wear it, then wear it, but if it feels safe even if the situation is not necessarily safe, that's up to you because it (the wearing of face masks) is no longer a thing like it used to be," he told reporters in Kuala Lumpur.
Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin announced earlier that the use of face masks indoors was now optional, although premise owners could still determine whether visitors were required to wear one.
He said wearing face masks was still mandatory for positive cases who need to go to the Covid-19 Assessment Centre to undergo health assessment, and when using public transportation services or at health facilities.