KUALA LUMPUR, June 2 — The government is expected to unveil more Covid-19 health guidelines this Saturday as it prepares to allow a greater number of social and commercial activities to resume under the conditional movement control order (CMCO).
Senior Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob made the announcement this afternoon, saying the standard operating procedures (SOPs) would cover religious programmes, night markets as well as barbers and hair salons.
“There will be plenty of matters that we expect to table this Saturday,” he said during the National Security Council’s daily briefing on the Covid-19 situation in Putrajaya.
“This will cover barbers and hair salons, and night markets too... so many have requested that night and day markets reopen.”
The relevant ministries are looking at allowing more people to congregate in mosques or other houses of worship, Ismail said.
“We’ve received suggestions that congregational prayers could be allowed if social distancing can be practised,” the minister noted.
“This depends on the size of the mosque. Like the Putrajaya mosque, for example; if the one-metre distance can be implemented, then it might be possible to let 200 people pray instead of just 30.”
Houses of worship were allowed to reopen when the authorities began relaxing restrictions under the CMCO, but are only limited to 30 people at a time.
Religious gatherings were among the first social events the government barred as the novel coronavirus outbreak erupted in February.
The highest number of cases in Malaysia had involved those attending an international tabligh, or a missionary, assembly in the Klang Valley in February.
The authorities estimated that over 17,000 people had attended the annual programme.