According to Senior Defense Minister, Ismail Sabri Yaakob, barbers, hair salons, and optical shops are no longer allowed to operate during the on-going Movement Control Order (MCO) period. This was announced during his daily COVID-19 media briefing earlier today.
This decision which is said to be made by PM Muhyiddin Yassin is a reversal of last week’s announcement by the Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI) which has been opposed by majority of the population. In fact, the Malaysian Hairdressers Association stated that 91% of hairdressers in the country don’t agree with the ruling.
In the briefing, Minister Ismail has also stated that Ramadhan bazaars are not allowed to be opened during MCO. Mirroring the same step that have been taken by several state governments including Selangor and Terengganu, this is something that the government has actually talked about before and today’s announcement have pretty much set the direction in stone.
Prior to today’s announcement, the Director-General of Health Malaysia, Dr. Noor Hisham Abdullah has already suggested the implementation of Ramadhan E-Bazaar to replace the traditional bazaar in order to avoid having mass gatherings that could complicate the country’s effort to stop the spread of COVID-19.
Similarly, he has also stated that MoH has advised the government to delay the opening of the new business sectors for at least two more weeks. So clearly, it looks like the authorities might want to ask for opinions from MoH and health professionals more often before implementing new policies during the on-going MCO period or else, things could become messy.
(Main image: Nicholas Ng, used under Creative Commons license.)