The Royal Malaysia Police (PDRM) put out a statement saying that fines would no longer be issued to those not wearing masks in public on 20 April 2022. However, the message that contained the information is “not true” and that there was a “technical error”.
“We have retracted the circular upon realising the error… Police will continue to issue fines to those who do not wear masks in public,” said Bukit Aman management director Zaini Jass.
In their new retracted statement, it was stated that police “would not issue summonses” but would only “advise members of the public to put on a mask if they were found not wearing one”. This was according to the National Security Council’s latest SOPs for the Ramadan and Hari Raya period.
However, masks are still required when you’re in public areas. Of course, there are certain cases where you won’t need to mask up. Since 7 March 2022, the mask mandate isn’t necessary if:
- You’re in a hotel room or in a living area by yourself or with household members
- You’re in an isolated working area
- You’re doing sports and recreation
- You’re in a car by yourself or with household members
- You’re in a public indoor or outdoor area by yourself
- You’re eating or drinking in a public area (besides restaurants and eating premises)
“PDRM would like to emphasise the standard operating procedure (SOP) during the endemic phase of COVID-19 on 1 April 2022. Wearing masks is still required in public areas. Because of that, PDRM is still enforcing a fine if individuals aren’t following the SOPs…” wrote PDRM in its statement.
PDRM also advised individuals to comply with the SOPs in “the effort to restrain the spread of COVID-19”. With the Hari Raya season coming up, a statement by the police saying that masks are no longer a requirement would not potentially be a great idea if they want to “restrain the spread”. I think it’s a good idea that masks are still required, but PDRM’s “technical error” could still give lots of people the wrong idea.