Malaysia today made face masks compulsory for everyone visiting selected places in the country or they risk paying a RM1,000 (US$230) fine.
The National Security Council released a list of 14 types of places where face masks are mandatory. They include places of worship, public transportation, zoos, exercise and recreation venues, clinics and hospitals, farmers’ markets, live events, cinemas, retail outlets, beauty salons, spas, and family entertainment outlets.
The new rule is effective immediately.
The council categorizes malls, workshops, restaurants and laundromats under retail outlets. At exercise and recreation venues like parks and gyms, visitors are required to wear masks when not working out. Face masks are also compulsory at some social events, mainly “wedding ceremonies, engagements, prayers, birthdays, and reunions.”
While face masks were never made compulsory when the COVID-19 outbreak began in Malaysia, it was always encouraged. Some places including restaurants have banned patrons without masks from entering.
On July 23, Defence Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob announced that face masks would be made compulsory in public spaces and on transportation from Aug. 1 but did not clearly define what those places were. This resulted in the police cancelling wrongly issued fines over the weekend.
Malaysia has reported 9,001 COVID-19 cases, including two new infections yesterday. The death toll stands at 125.
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