Relaxed SOPs take effect in Malaysia on 1 May 2022: What you can and cannot do

When face masks need to be worn and when they are optional, physical distancing requirements, and more. 

On 27 May 2022 (Wednesday), Malaysia's Ministry of Health (MOH) shared a set of relaxed standard operating procedures (SOPs) that will take place in the country effective 1 May 2022 (Sunday).

This is part of its transition to an endemic phase. In this article, HRO will focus on the generic updates applicable to the general public — wearing of face masks, physical distancing, hygiene, and a list of prohibited activities. Head on here for the full coverage which includes updates on doing away with MySejahtera, Hari Raya 2022 SOPs, and more. 

SOPs for the general public in Malaysia effective 1 May 2022

Requirements for wearing face masks 

Wearing a face mask is compulsory when in a building (indoor) and on public transport including e-hailing rides. However, the use of face masks outdoors and in open areas is optional but highly recommended as face masks are able to reduce the spread of infection.

  • Indoor and public transportation including e-hailing
    • Wearing a face mask is mandatory when indoors including in shopping malls and transport services.
    • Enforcement under the Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases Act 1988 [Act 342] and regulations thereunder will be imposed on individuals who fail to comply with this instruction.
    • Face masks can be removed when:
      • Doing heavy exercise indoors but it should be worn again immediately after finishing the exercise
      • If alone in a particular space
      • While eating, drinking
      • While speaking and/or presenting
    • Wearing face masks, especially in buildings and on public transport, is still important to protect ourselves and those around us, especially for those at high-risk such as the elderly, children, and immunocompromised individuals.
  • Outdoors
    • The use of face masks is not required outdoors. This takes into account the low risk of transmission of infection in conditions in which ventilation is good.
    • However, MOH encourages that the wearing of masks in exterior facades continues to be practised especially when:
      • In crowded areas like Ramadan bazaars, night markets, stadiums;
      • Individuals have symptoms such as fever, cough, and cold;
      • Individuals are at high-risk, and
      • Carrying out activities with high-risk people such as the elderly and children.

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Physical distancing

Requirements for physical distancing, shared in the National Security Council's (NSC) SOPs issued on 1 April 2022, have also been revised.

Taking into account all activities have been permitted with the use of 100% of space capacity, MOH has announced that physical distancing will no longer be required between individuals.

Nevertheless, it is encouraged in instances where face masks are not worn.

Greetings ethics and hand hygiene care

Greetings are allowed, but always wash or clean your hands and do not touch your face after shaking hands.

List of prohibited activities (negative list)

All lists of activities that were previously not allowed in the SOPs issued by the NSC on 1 April 2022 will be dropped.

The relevant agencies are preparing the protocols that will apply instead, the Ministry noted.

This will take effect on Sunday, 15 May 2022.

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The Ministry announced the relaxation of all SOPs starting 1 May — including quarantine updates for COVID-positive cases, doing away with MySejahtera, and more. Head over here to view each coverage.

Photo / 123RF

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