The government has announced that it will ease several restrictions for fully-vaccinated Malaysian citizens residing in states under Phase Two and above of the National Recovery Plan (PPN). These include allowing them to travel across states and districts, attend prayers at mosques or suraus, dine-in at restaurants, and more.
During a special address held earlier today, prime minister Muhyiddin Yassin revealed that the ease of restrictions will be in effect on Tuesday, 10 August 2021. He also emphasised that an individual is recognised as fully-vaccinated only 14 days after getting their second jab for two-dose vaccines such as Pfizer, AstraZeneca and Sinovac. Whereas, those who’ve opted for single-dose vaccines such as Johnson & Johnson and CanSino are acknowledged only after 28 days of receiving their dosage.
Once the ease of restrictions are implemented, fully-vaccinated individuals are allowed to travel and meet with their spouse or children who are residing in other states or districts. Naturally, they are first required to provide their digital certificate of COVID-19 vaccination to enforcement officers manning roadblocks for verification purposes. Muhyiddin added that Malaysian travellers and non-citizens in Malaysia (Permanent Residents and MY Second Home participants) who are fully-vaccinated are allowed to undergo compulsory home quarantine on their return to the country and will be given digital Home Surveillance Order (HSO).
For the social sector, the prime minister explained that among the restrictions being lifted are the ban on dine-ins, non-physical contact sports and recreational activities, as well as tourism activities within the same state (ie: homestays and hotels). However, he stressed that premise owners and individuals are advised to remain cautious as the risk of infections are higher for dine-ins, compared to other social activities.
Muhyiddin advised the public to opt for dine-ins only if necessary, and noted that take-away is still the recommended option. Citizens are encouraged to choose well-ventilated premises and not to stay long after finishing their meals. Meanwhile, he also advised restaurant operators to provide more dining space outside of their premises for better ventilation and ensure that customers that are entering have been verified as fully-vaccinated.
Meanwhile, sports and recreational activities with physical distancing are allowed at outdoor and half-indoor areas from 6am to 10pm. These include jogging, exercising, taichi, cycling, skateboarding, fishing, equestrian, archery, hiking, tennis, badminton, golfing, and motoring. For tourism, the prime minister said homestay and hotel operators must ensure that their patrons must show their digital vaccination certificate before being allowed on the premises.
Muhhyiddin also noted that the government had agreed to only allow prayers at mosques and suraus for worshippers who have been fully-vaccinated, applicable to those residing in states under all phases of the PPN. He said that mosque and surau management should implement standard operating procedure (SOP) on public health protocols such as wearing of face masks, enforcing social distancing, and ensure that the worshippers immediately leave after performing their prayers.
“This facility is also granted to non-Muslims to attend (prayers at) their houses of worship, and it is subject to the state religious authorities and National Unity Ministry for houses of worship other than Islam,” he added. And much like the other activities that are listed above, on-location personnel at mosques, suraus and houses of worship must also verify that all attendees provide their digital vaccination certificate for verification.
Last but not least, Muhyiddin reminded all Malaysians to not ignore the SOPs that had been set, despite the easing of restrictions. That being said, it is expected that the government will also provide an updated list of SOPs to accompany the changes that are due to be implemented on Tuesday.