In second phase of MCO, eateries, markets, petrol stations can only operate from 8am to 8pm

Police officers conducting checks at a roadblock during the enhanced movement control order (EMCO) in seven villages in Hulu Langat, March 30, 2020. — Picture by Shafwan Zaidon
Police officers conducting checks at a roadblock during the enhanced movement control order (EMCO) in seven villages in Hulu Langat, March 30, 2020. — Picture by Shafwan Zaidon

KUALA LUMPUR, March 30 — The second phase of the movement control order (MCO) will see tighter measures implemented and operation hours of certain services reduced, Senior Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob announced today. 

Ismail Sabri said eateries, markets, and petrol stations will only be allowed to operate from 8am to 8pm daily for the entire 14 days of the MCO’s second phase. 

“The second phase will see an increase from the aspect of roadblocks and checking on the movement of people. 

“However I want to stress that in the second phase, movement is still allowed, and shops are still allowed to open, but only during the mentioned operating hours,” he said during a press conference that was broadcasted live. 

The senior minister explained that food delivery services like GrabFood and Food Panda would also see shorter operation hours aligned to the operation hours of eateries and restaurants. 

“During this period, the government also encourages the public to use online payment methods for delivery services. 

“This is so that there is no face-to-face contact with the ones making and receiving the deliveries; we encourage that the food is left outside the premise where the homeowner will collect it once the person delivering has left,” he said. 

Ismail Sabri added that the new restrictions would not affect the public transport system, taxis, and e-hailing services, which will maintain its operating hours from 6am to 10pm. 

He advised commercial vehicles delivering or collecting essential goods like food and medicine to do so during the graveyard hours of 7pm to 7am to avoid any backlogs. 

“This is not an instruction on what time they are allowed to move, but it is advised they follow the time as we have observed they require long hours on the road and a lot of time for its operations,” he said.  

He said the ruling for houses of worship of all religions maintains its status quo, restricting all forms of public gatherings or communal prayer sessions for the entire period of the MCO. 

He added that leeway will be given to autistic and disabled individuals in need of therapy in outdoor settings but warned against people abusing the exception by communing together. 

“Those who are autistic and disabled would be allowed to receive the therapy they need as advised by health experts, but we will not allow it to be in a group as previously mentioned,” he added. 

The second phase of the MCO is set to begin from April 1 to 14, with the newly announced restrictions coming into effect beginning this Wednesday.