KUALA LUMPUR, June 9 — Restaurants and food stalls may operate until midnight daily starting tomorrow, Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob announced today as the government eases more restrictions under the recovery movement control order.

Grocery stores and mini-marts have also been given the permission to open longer, the senior minister in charge of defence told a press briefing in Putrajaya.

Shops were only allowed to open until 6pm under the movement control order (MCO), and later extended to 8pm when more restrictions were relaxed. Food outlets were discouraged from letting customers dine in.

"But we have to stress that social distancing and good hygiene practices must continue," Ismail said.

The government has signalled its readiness to lift and keep restrictions minimal as it looks to jumpstart an economy battered by the Covid-19 outbreak.

Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said on Sunday that Malaysia is now entering a "recovery" phase and could look to lift all curbs by August.

Starting tomorrow, there will be no more ban on interstate travel while domestic flights can resume. The government has also expanded the list of non-essential services that can reopen soon.

The Ministry of Health reported just seven new Covid-19 cases yesterday, the lowest since March when the country was under a partial lockdown.