Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin has announced that three states, namely Perlis, Labuan, and Sarawak, will be moving on to Phase 3 of the National Recovery Plan (NRP), after getting the green light from the Malaysian National Security Council (MKN). The transition will start on Wednesday, 4 August, with Muhyiddin citing the states’ good performance and reminding them to still follow the rules and SOPs.
The Prime Minister also mentioned that special privileges for fully-vaccinated individuals were discussed, something that has been teased to the public countless times in the past couple of weeks. According to the NRP, more commercial sectors will be allowed to reopen in Phase 3, including dining-in. The only sectors still not allowed to operate under the third phase are spas, pedicure & manicure places, and nightclubs.
Interdistrict travel will once again be permitted in this phase while the ban on interstate travel will still be in place. That being said, Deputy Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob did mention a few weeks ago that families separated by the interstate travel ban will be allowed to reunite if they have received both doses of the COVID-19 vaccine.
So far, eight states have transitioned to Phase 2: Kelantan, Terengganu, Pahang, Perlis, Perak, Penang, Sabah, and Sarawak. Perlis and Sarawak have been in Phase 2 since July but it seems Labuan is skipping the second phase. The NRP states that Phase 3 requires there to be less than 2000 daily average cases nationally with at least 40% of the population fully vaccinated. On the state level however, the threshold indicators are calculated based on the state’s population.
Perlis, Sarawak, and Labuan require a daily average of less than 16, 172, and six cases respectively to enter Phase 3. Interestingly, Sarawak has had more than 400 cases everyday for the past week, which is much higher than the state’s threshold for this phase. Perhaps the approval can be attributed to the state’s extremely high rate of fully-vaccinated adults, which currently stands at 65%.