Conditional MCO declared from May 4 to ease lockdown

The movement control order has been in place since March 18.

PUTRAJAYA: Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin this morning announced that the government will enforce a conditional movement control order beginning May 4 to ease the partial lockdown implemented in March to contain the Covid-19 pandemic.

In a special address, he said certain economic and social activities will be allowed except for mass gatherings which would expose the public to Covid-19 infections.

So far, he said, the MCO had seen the country incur RM63 billion in losses.

If the partial lockdown continued for another month, he added, losses would touch nearly RM100 billion.

“Beginning May 4, almost all economic sectors will be allowed to open with conditions.

“This is important as business and work is a source of income. If we are under MCO for too long, we will not get any income and this will have a negative impact on our finances.”

However, he said businesses involving crowds such as cinemas, night clubs, entertainment centres, bazaars and exhibitions would not be allowed.

Sports activities that involve close contact such as football, rugby, swimming and indoor sports will not be allowed, although outdoor activities that do not involve close contact or mass gatherings will be permitted.

For example, outdoor badminton and tennis will be allowed, as will jogging, cycling, golf and running in small groups of not more than 10.

Schools will remain closed and interstate travel will still be barred except for work purposes.

“Members of the public are also prohibited from travelling across states to return to their home towns for Raya,” he said.

Likewise, social activities such as open houses, concerts and banquets as well as religious activities and gatherings including Friday prayers and gatherings at houses of worship will not be allowed.

A list of the kinds of business and activities still banned during the MCO period can be found on the National Security Council website.

Muhyiddin said the sectors allowed to operate must adhere to standard operating procedures set by the authorities.

From Monday onwards, he said, customers will be allowed to eat in at restaurants. However, tables must be placed two metres apart with the number of customers limited based on table size.

“Restaurants must also register the names of all customers, to enable contact tracing if someone tests positive for Covid-19,” he said.

They must also ensure the one-metre social distancing rule is observed at the cashier by placing a line on the floor.

Hand sanitiser must be provided at payment counters and enough soap supplied at sinks.

Workers meanwhile must wear face masks and, if possible, take the temperature of customers.

“Restaurant and food truck operators as well as hawkers must do the same.”

In terms of work, he urged employers to allow some flexibility in hours, saying there is no need for everyone to work at the same time.

Employees must be screened every day while employers should allow employees to work from home.

He said husbands and wives who are both working should work alternate days to ensure that children are cared for.

“There is no need to send them to daycare centres unless there is no other choice,” he added.

He said civil servants would also be required to work from home unless their presence is required at the office. He also urged them to conduct meetings online.

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