KUALA LUMPUR, April 27 — Nightclubs will now be allowed to reopen as the National Security Council’s (NSC)  Negative List, which prohibited certain activities and businesses during the Covid-19 pandemic, will be abolished starting May 15.

Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin announced the matter during a press conference streamed online today, adding that the relevant agencies are preparing protocols for operations of these soon-to-be reopened premises.

“That is the only institution still in the negative list, so I think you can understand,” said Khairy, when asked if nightclubs specifically would be allowed to reopen.

“We had a discussion session with the owners of the [nightclub] premises, and there are several protocols which we suggested, and which they too suggested to us these protocols, we will bring to the NSC to be finalised.

“Which is why I said that for the negative list, premises which are still under the negative list will only be enforced on May 15. There is some time for us to finalise the protocols so that the customers of the premises are safe when they go to such premises,” he added later.

The most recent Negative List by the NSC was published on April 1, and only had “Activities in Nightclubs” in it.

Trade group coalition Industries Unite has appealed to the government to allow pubs and nightclubs to reopen under the National Recovery Plan since October last year.

It estimated that at least 150,000 to 250,000 jobs were at stake as the nightclubs and pubs reach “total annihilation”, which would then place additional unnecessary burdens on the government to support the unemployed.

Most entertainment centres such as karaoke, pubs and nightclubs have been closed since the start of the first movement control order (MCO) in 2020.