JOHOR BARU: Johoreans and Singaporeans in the city are still keeping their face masks on outdoors – at least for the first few weeks after the relaxation of the Covid-19 standard operating procedure.

Checks around the city here saw many people still donning their masks in busy areas.

Businessman Jegan Reddy, 46, said he has decided to keep his masks on outdoors – at least for the next few weeks – because he feels much safer.

“Maybe in the next two to three weeks, we will have the confidence to go out without our masks on, but for now, I think we are all still being cautious.

“Many have also got used to it over two years,” he said.

Another businessman, Lim Toh Huei, 34, will also be keeping his mask on as a precaution.

“I have told my workers to continue wearing their face masks at work to reduce the risk of Covid-19. However, for my customers, I would leave it to them to decide as they are now given the freedom to choose.

“They can be without masks when they queue outside my shop but when they are inside, they have to still wear it as per SOP,” said the third-generation owner of a banana cake bakery here.

Singaporean chef Harry Gan, 30, will continue wearing his mask in Malaysia for the time being since everyone seems to still have this on outdoors.

“It would be weird if I were the only one not wearing it although this is now allowed.

“It’s the same in Singapore. When our government first announced that we could choose not to wear masks outdoors, most people still opted to wear them,” he said.

“It was only after a few weeks that I saw people not wearing it outdoors when it was not too crowded.

“I also take off my mask sometimes when I am outdoors in Singapore if it’s not too crowded,” he added.

Another Singaporean, product management staff Han Zheng, 28, said he will only take off his mask outdoors when it is not crowded.

“I will not wear it when there are not many people around – be it in Malaysia or back in Singapore. With the number of people in the city area quite large at the moment, I have decided to keep it on,” he said.

Johor Baru Trade Revolution Association vice-chairman Syed Mohd Ghazafi Abu Bakar urged the public to continue wearing their masks when visiting bazaars and night markets.

“Based on the SOP from the local council, the public are still required to wear face masks at night markets and bazaars.

“Although this is considered outdoors, these places are often crowded. For now, that is the SOP we received and we will abide by it,” he said.