Senior Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob has announced that businesses such as restaurants and convenience stores are now allowed to operate until 2am, effective today. Prior to this, businesses were only allowed to remain open until midnight since the implementation of the Recovery Movement Control Order (RMCO).
He added that the decision was made by the National Security Council (NSC) following requests of longer operating hours by business owners. When asked if the extension also applies to indoor sports facilities, Ismail Sabri replied that this wouldn’t be an issue but said that it is not for him to decide. He noted that the matter will be brought up during the next NSC meeting which will be held next week.
The extension of operating hours to 2am is the longest that has been allowed for businesses since the implementation of MCO back in March. During the commencement of Phase 2 in April, businesses operating 24-hours or otherwise were required to open at 8am in the morning and later close at 8pm. This restriction was later eased when RMCO was implemented in June, which allowed shops to cooperate until midnight.
Additionally, Ismail Sabri also expressed concern regarding the recent spike in COVID-19 cases in Malaysia, which could result in the government reinforcing MCO restrictions. However, the minister added that Putrajaya would consider locking down affected localities rather than the entire country, should the number of cases continue to increase in these areas.