Covid-19: Face masks no longer mandatory on flights, says health minister

PETALING JAYA: Face masks are no longer mandatory on flights, says Khairy Jamaluddin.

In a statement issued on Wednesday, September 28, the Minister of Health said that this protocol would come into effect immediately.

“On September 7, 2022, the Ministry of Health announced relaxations on face masks and decided that their use indoors is optional.

“Based on the current assessment of the Covid-19 situation and considering the latest requirements, the ministry has decided that face masks are no longer mandatory on board aircraft,” Khairy said.

However, he added that the ministry still strongly encourages the use of face masks for those with flu-like symptoms; people at high risk such as the elderly, people with chronic illnesses, people with low immunity and pregnant women; as well as those traveling with high-risk individuals such as the elderly and children.

Khairy added that a risk-based approach was used to make the decision, taking into account improvements in aircraft technology and practices, such as good cabin ventilation, use of absorbent filters high efficiency particulate matter (Hepa) to remove air pollutants, forward seating arrangement and frequency of aircraft disinfection program.

He added that the easing is also in line with health recommendations from the European Union, Britain, the United States, Australia, New Zealand and Singapore.

“However, the requirement to wear a face mask on an airplane is always subject to the conditions set by the country being visited,” Khairy said.

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