By Karen Bong
KUCHING, Aug 4: Even though it is not mandatory for children under two years of age to wear face masks, it is however an offence to bring toddlers out to crowded places where they can be exposed to Covid-19.
State Criminal Investigation Department (CID) chief Senior Assistant Police Commissioner Denis Leong thus advised parents not to bring their young children out to crowded places where they could be exposed to public contact as physical distancing cannot be practised.
That being said, he continued to emphasise that people should put their face masks on at all times in crowded areas and public places whenever physical distancing cannot be practiced.
“At the moment, police are still advising people about putting on face masks while waiting for Bukit Aman to issue enforcement guidelines to take actions to compound.
“The guidelines will be out soon. Once out, we will take more drastic actions,” he told a press conference on Covid-19 here today.
Clarifying the mandate to wear face masks in public spaces which many people have expressed confusion over where and when to follow the rule, Leong emphasised that the keyword was “crowded” and “social (physical) distancing”.
“Crowded areas are where you cannot practise social distancing. If you go into a convenience store and it is not crowded and you can practise social distancing, then you don’t have to put on a face mask.
“But if you go to the football field or beaches where there is few people or nobody there and you can practice social distancing, then you don’t have to put on the mask,” he said.
While driving or inside private cars, Leong added, it was not compulsory to wear a face mask.
“But if a motorcyclist arrives at a junction with a lot of bikes waiting for the lights to change and cannot practise social distancing, my advice is wear a face mask,” he elaborated.
Malaysia including Sarawak has imposed mandatory mask-wearing in public areas effective from Aug 1 as the authorities work to break the chain of Covid-19 infections.
These public areas encompass taking public transport including e-hailing as well as community markets including night markets and farmers markets.
Those who fail to comply with the new rules will face a fine of up to RM1,000. — DayakDaily