PUTRAJAYA: The decision to do away with social distancing on board aircraft was made after taking into account international standards and guidelines of the International Air Transport Association (IATA), said Transport Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wee Ka Siong (pix).
Malaysia was previously among the countries that carried out social distancing aboard aircraft during the Covid-19 pandemic, while there were countries that carried it out conditionally at a distance of less than one metre, he said.
According to Wee, the IATA guidelines do not require social distancing but state clear procedures to do such as health screenings including taking body temperature, wearing mouth and nose masks and procedures the crew needed to perform before and after a flight.
“In each of the processes, IATA clearly states that those who want to fly are screened and there is manifest evidence showing the location of each passenger as well as the procedure before and after Covid-19 including meals and frequent aircraft sanitising,“ he said.
Wee at a press conference here today said the Ministry of Transport had numerous discussions with the Ministry of Health and the National Security Council where it was decided that there would be no more social distancing on board aircraft in accordance with international standards.
Senior Minister (Security Cluster) Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob today announced that all public transportations, express buses, aircraft, e-hailing services, taxis and private vehicles were now allowed to operate at full capacity in accordance with the standard operating procedures (SOP).
Some of the SOPs to follow included wearing a nose and mouth covering, downloading the MySajehtera application and using a disinfectant fluid.
Wee hoped that airlines could reduce ticket prices that were reported to have climbed abruptly prior to this with the cancellation of social distancing on board aircraft.
“We (MOT) cannot interfere in ticket sales but we ask for their good office to reduce ticket prices,“ he said. — Bernama