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MOH: Face Masks Are No Longer Mandatory On Flights

However, passengers who are unwell and high-risk individuals are still strongly encouraged to wear their masks onboard.

Cover image via Bernama/Malay Mail & Rediff

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The Ministry of Health (MOH) has announced that the wearing of face masks onboard flights is no longer compulsory, with immediate effect from Wednesday, 28 September

Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin said the decision was made after a risk assessment, and has taken into consideration improved aircraft technology and the COVID-19 situation in the country.

"[This is due to] the good ventilation in cabins; the use of high-efficiency particulate-absorbing (HEPA) filters to remove airborne pollutants; forward seating arrangements; and frequent aircraft disinfection," he said in a statement yesterday, as quoted by New Straits Times.

Khairy said Malaysia Airlines Berhad chief executive officer Izham Ismail has given his assurance of air quality and cleanliness on airplanes.

Image via @Khairykj (Twitter)

Khairy said his ministry, however, still encouraged those who are exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms, such as fever, cough, and flu, to continue wearing a face mask when onboard a plane

"Also encouraged to wear a mask are high-risk individuals, such as senior citizens, individuals with chronic illness, individuals with low immunity, and pregnant women," he advised.

He added that the travel companions of these high-risk groups, such as the elderly and children, are also encouraged to wear masks.

Image via AP/CNA

The Health Minister said the relaxation of the face masks onboard aircraft is in line with health recommendations in the European Union, UK, US, Australia, New Zealand, and Singapore

However, he stressed that the requirement to put on a mask in flight is also subject to the rules set by the respective countries that travellers are flying to.

Read the ministry's full statement here:

On 7 September, Khairy announced that wearing face masks indoors was no longer mandatory, except on public transportation and at medical facilities:

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