Uncovering what the face mask ruling really is

The new ruling on wearing masks came into effect today but people remain confused on what is right or wrong.

The rule actually is simple – you must wear a face mask in a crowded place. If you are in an open area with no one or few people around, it’s not a must. But of course, if you can, wear it at all times when you are out.

Some then question the definition of “crowded place”. Simply, it’s a place where there are many people to the extent that maintaining physical distancing is difficult or impossible. This includes public transportation like LRT, MRT, e-hailing services and bus.

The above is what was mentioned early on by Home Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob and Health Director-General Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah.

And this message has been disseminated regularly on social media.

The denial by National Security Council over a message that has been shared widely via instant messaging apps.

Thus, it is baffling that people prefer to ignore this and believe random messages from unknown sources.

There’s one such message that says you must also wear face masks while in the car. This has been dispelled by the authorities time and again but people don’t seem convinced.

A picture of a summons received by someone at a restaurant has also been making its rounds. It was claimed that the person was fined RM1,000 for not wearing his mask while waiting for his food.

This is untrue. The summons says the man was fined because he did not practise physical distancing.

At the end of the day, let common sense prevail.

Find out more from reliable sources like the Health Ministry, Home Ministry or Royal Malaysia Police websites or Twitter accounts instead of latching on to unfounded rumours. And it is worse when we help to spread these to others.

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