KUCHING: The usage of face masks is not mandatory in places where physical distancing can be practised, said Sarawak Criminal Investigation Department (CID) chief SAC Dennis Leong.

According to him, crowded areas are defined as places where physical distancing could not be practised.

“When you go into a convenient store and it is not crowded and physical distancing can be practised, then it is not mandatory to wear a face mask,” he told the press during the State Disaster Management Committee’s (SDMC) daily Covid-19 update today.

However, he explained that the usage of face masks in public transportation, including e-hailing vehicles, is still mandatory.

“Face masks must be worn in public places such as markets.”

For children under two years old, Leong said it was not mandatory for them to wear face masks. However, he advised all parents to avoid bringing their young ones to crowded places.

“The usage of face masks is also not mandatory in private vehicles.”

With regard to motorcyclists, he said it was only mandatory when they are in crowded places such as a traffic light junction where physical distancing could not be practised.

He added that police are still waiting on the standard operating procedure (SOP) guidelines on the mandatory usage of face masks from Bukit Aman.

“At this moment, we are still advising people to put on face masks.”