As we inch towards a post-pandemic world, the ‘new normal’ finally entails habits and practices that are much more convenient and for most of us, more familiar as well.
The world may have gotten used or even attached to wearing face masks in public areas (personally, my bottle of lip tint sat untouched throughout 2021), but being able to step out without them could be the breath of fresh air we all need.
Yesterday, the Health Ministry announced the lifting of the mask mandate on flights, which took effect immediately.
However, some passengers, particularly symptomatic travellers and high-risk persons, are still strongly advised to keep their masks on while travelling. The same is recommended that passengers who are travelling with susceptible passengers- such as youngsters and older citizens.
According to Khairy Jamaluddin, the decision was reached using a risk-based method that took into consideration advancements in aircraft technology and procedures like proper cabin ventilation, the application of high-efficiency particulate absorbing (HEPA) filters to eliminate airborne pollutants, forward seating arrangements, and the regularity of scheduled aircraft disinfection as well as the Covid-19 status in Malaysia.
As per MOH, this is in accordance with health advice from other countries, including the US, Australia, New Zealand and Singapore.
Nevertheless, the Covid-19 limitations of the country of destination will ultimately determine if face masks are required on flights; therefore, travellers are encouraged to revise the regulations of their landing countries beforehand.