PUTRAJAYA: The initial focus of the compulsory face mask rule starting Saturday (Aug 1) will be on public transport, says Health director-general Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah.
He said this is to ensure full compliance among users as public transport including buses and trains are operating at full capacity and are no longer implementing social distancing.
"Now we have evidence to suggest that using face masks can break the chain of Covid-19 transmission by 60% and that's the reason we encourage the wearing of the face mask.
"We strongly encouraged this before but now we are going to enforce it under Act 342 whereby from Aug 1, it will be compulsory to wear the face mask.
"But having said that, on Aug 1, our focus will be on public transport.
"We have increased full capacity for public transport and there is no social distancing but the caveat is you must put on a mask," said Dr Noor Hisham during his weekly briefings on Monday (July 27).
Besides public transport, Dr Noor Hisham said starting Saturday, individuals must put on a face mask if they were in crowded areas or confined places.
He added there was a need to assess whether there is widespread access to both medical and non-medical face masks in the country in time for the mandatory face mask rule.
"But more importantly, we are looking into providing (face masks) for those in need such as the B40 group and others," he said, adding that the ministry had earlier published guidelines on medical and non-medical masks.
"We must make it compulsory for our families and ourselves to put on a mask.
"We hope everyone can embrace practising wearing the face masks at all times outside," he said.
Senior Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob had earlier announced that the wearing of face masks in crowded places and public transport will be made compulsory starting Aug 1.
Those not wearing masks may face a fine of RM1,000.
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