KUALA LUMPUR, March 31 — After more than two years of battling the Covid-19 pandemic, which saw the enforcement of the first movement control order on March 18, 2020, closures of the country’s borders, implementation of the physical distancing rule as well as wearing of face masks, Malaysia will enter the transition to endemic phase at the stroke of midnight on April 1.

Starting tomorrow, business premises will be allowed to open according to the operating hours stated in the operating licence of their premises.

Apart from that, congregational prayers in mosques and surau as well as religious ceremonies at houses of worship can be performed without having to observe the physical distancing rule.

However, wearing face masks in public places and checking in using the MySejahtera application is still mandatory, except in open areas that are not crowded and have no public gatherings.

Pelita Nasi Kandar, the country’s nasi kandar restaurant chain when contacted via the Whatsapp application said, eight out of 24 of its outlets will be operating round-the-clock beginning midnight, namely in Taman Chai Leng in Prai and Jalan Macalister in Penang; Jalan Ampang and Desa Sri Hartamas (Kuala Lumpur); Subang Jaya, Ampang Point and Sunway (Selangor) and one in Ipoh.

Nine states including the Federal Territories, Terengganu, Sarawak, Perak, Penang, Kelantan, Kedah, Selangor and Melaka had announced the permission to perform congregational prayers without physical distancing beginning April 1, however, Negri Sembilan will still observe the rule in mosques and surau statewide according to the size of a prayer mat, namely 0.6-metre wide x 1.2 metres long.

Johor will allow all mosques and surau in the state to close the gap between prayer mats without physical contact between worshippers tomorrow, while Pahang allows fully-vaccinated and unvaccinated worshippers to return to its mosques and surau.

Perlis has already allowed congregational prayers to be performed by closing the gaps (saf) since January while Sabah will allow worshippers to perform congregational prayers at mosques and surau in full capacity without physical contact effective tomorrow.

On the country’s border reopening, AirAsia Malaysia when contacted said the first flight to land at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport 2 (klia2) will be flight AK52 carrying workers from Bengaluru which is expected to arrive at 6.20am.

The source said, AirAsia will celebrate the arrival of international flight AK381 from Jakarta which is expected to arrive at 11.45am, adding that a total of 12 AirAsia international flights will arrive tomorrow namely from Cambodia, Vietnam, Indonesia, Singapore, Thailand, Bangladesh, the Philippines and India.

Meanwhile, a Malaysia Airports Holdings Berhad source when contacted said data on the arrival and departure of international flights of the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) will be announced through a statement tomorrow.

Tour agencies have started to promote their holiday packages as soon as Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob announced the reopening of the country’s borders. 

MyZarra Travel and Services Sdn Bhd has been promoting holiday packages to Europe and the Balkan countries ahead of border reopening tomorrow.

In the excitement to transition into endemicity, all quarters are urged to take heed of the call made by Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin to remain vigilant and continue to practise self-discipline to ensure the Covid-19 outbreak that has upended lives, remains under control. — Bernama