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KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 11 — While life for most Malaysians seems to have settled back into normal — new or otherwise — there are still some things we cannot do.
When Malaysia entered her first-ever movement control order (MCO) on March 18, a set of lockdown-like measures were enforced to curb the spread of Covid-19.
This meant nobody could enter or leave the country as our borders were closed. And we — except those in essential services — were ordered to stay home. No going to the office or school, no eating out, no working out (not even jogging in your neighbourhood).
As the number of local Covid-19 infections went down, these restrictions were slowly lifted as businesses, institutions, and certain sectors were gradually allowed to resume operations under what was termed conditional MCO (CMCO) and later, recovery MCO (RMCO).
Bearing in mind the strict standard operating procedures (SOP) enforced by the National Security Council (NSC), here are some of the things we can and cannot do until New Year’s Eve, or when the government announces otherwise.
These are the things we are still NOT ALLOWED to do:
- Activities in nightclubs and pubs (Includes “live” bands, raves and other forms of activities that will attract a large crowd; except for food business)
- Sporting events or tournaments with spectators in attendance
- Sporting events or tournaments that include foreign participants
- Malaysians travelling overseas for holiday purposes or foreigners travelling into Malaysia for the same reason
- Any other form of activity that hinders or makes it difficult to practise physical distancing or to adhere to the SOPs specified by the Health director-general
Activities ALLOWED under the RMCO that are subject to NSC’s strict SOPs on contact tracing, temperature screening and physical distancing
Socialising; albeit in small, spaced out groups:
- Dining in restaurants
- Watching movies in the cinema
- Group workout sessions
- Team and individual sports
- Small-scale house/social gatherings/weddings (limited number of guests, and maximum five hours in length)
- Family karaoke sessions (but no duets, according to the NSC)
- Children’s playgrounds and public parks
- Cultural and art centres (museums, art galleries, memorials, libraries, craft centres, archives)
Events — the size of which, according to the NSC, will depend on the ability to adhere to physical distancing rules within the specific premise, among many others.
- Trade fairs
- Indoor (ticketed/non-ticketed) busking shows
- Local cultural or arts carnivals
- “Live” social events
Businesses; most are allowed to operate at full capacity while adhering to SOPs, which include:
- Renovations, construction, and works sector
- Professional and technical assistance (telecommunications, plumbing, wiring)
- The agricultural and agro-commodity sector
- Stalls, small-scale traders, food courts, restaurants
- Shopping malls and retail outlets
- Barbers and hairdressers
- Private education centres
- Filming and production
- Morning and night markets
- Public and private transport providers
Under the RMCO, these businesses and entities that take in visitors are compelled to check the temperature of each person, provide contact tracing details facilities, preferably for the MySejahtera app, and must sanitise its premises at least three times a day or preferably after each customer leaves.
Most of these premises are also allowed to operate during their usual hours, but the government has set a blanket 12am curfew for most businesses to shut for the day, except those listed as essentials.
The government has also implemented the mandatory use of face masks since August 1, for those in public places and spaces where it is difficult to maintain social distancing.