As reported earlier, the Malaysian government has decided to reopen the economy from 4 May 2020, as well as loosening the rules for the ongoing Movement Control Order (MCO). Unfortunately, with some restrictions still in place, not all businesses or activities are exempted from this.
This is due to the importance of maintaining social distancing practices as the battle with the COVID-19 pandemic is still far from over. Therefore, businesses and activities that involve any form of gatherings or physical contact are still prohibited until further notice.
Here’s the list of of those that are still barred by the new ruling:
- Open air markets, as well as Ramadan and Hari Raya bazaars
- Barbershops, hair salons, and beauty parlours.
- Folding services in laundrettes.
- Fitting services at clothing and fashion accessory shops
- Sales and marketing activities in public spaces for those in the banking sector.
- Certain hotel facilities and activities including surau, gyms, spa, sauna, lounge, swimming pool, seminar halls, training rooms, and buffets.
- Any filming activities for the creative industries
Social activities and celebrations
- Feasts (kenduri, etc), wedding receptions and party celebrations (birthdays or similar),
- Religious processions, mass gathering and activities at mosques and places of worship, and Hari Raya celebrations (except with close family members).
- Recreational fishing, and exhibitions for the aquarium trade.
Entertainment and leisure
- Movie theatres, karaoke centres, theme parks, museums, and public busking.
Conferences and exhibitions
- Job, wedding and travel fairs, sales carnivals, arts and culture exhibitions, and any form of events that involve gatherings of more than 10 people.
- Sports activities during school sessions, any co-curricular activities involving gatherings, school assemblies, and school events with more than 10 people.
- Lectures, seminars, courses and training involving a live audience
- Sporting events that involve spectators, all forms of indoor sports, swimming pools, and sports that involve physical contact (football, basketball, etc).
Meanwhile, businesses and activities that are permitted to resume on 4 May include the opening of restaurants to the public, reopening some offices to workers, as well as some recreational activities such as jogging and cycling. However, these are strictly required to comply with the standard operating procedures (SOPs) provided by authorities that are listed below:
Practicing health measures
- Social distancing of at least 1 meter (preferably 2 meters) in all instances.
- Wearing face masks at all times.
Promote high hygiene practices
- Washing hands frequently with soap or hand-sanitizer.
- Providing the aforementioned hygiene facilities to both employees and customers.
- Ensure that the sanitisation of the premises are performed consistently, at least 2 times a day.
Practicing infection prevention practices:
- Ensure that there is a protocol for disease monitoring and infection prevention.
- All employees are to receive daily inspections and body temperature checks to identify Covid-19 symptoms.
- The compulsory usage of personal protective equipment (PPE) for workers at workplaces that are unable to practice social distancing.
- Report to the Department of Health in the event of COVID-19 related risks.
- Provide training to workers for emergency situations related to the pandemic.
Avoid any form of assembly:
- Strictly prohibiting social activities that involve public gatherings, team sports or contact sports, celebrations, festivities, and religious activities.
These could be the first few steps for Malaysia to return to normality after spending over a month under the MCO. Sure, we are still restricted from a lot of things that used to be part of our usual routine, but it’s a necessary (and hopefully a short term) sacrifice during these trying times.
Granted, the number of cases has steadily decreased as reported by the Ministry of Health (MOH) ,and we’re all hoping for this to be over soon. However, COVID-19 is still out there and it could still spread if this situation is to be taken lightly.
Remember to abide the law, continue to practice social distancing, and maintain hygiene standards. Oh, and since it’s not 4 May yet, do stay at home.
That haircut appointment can wait.