The Government has decided to relax the MCO regulations starting Monday (May 4), naming it the Conditional Movement Control Order (CMCO).
The announcement was made by Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin during a special address on Labour Day.
A new chapter
Muhyiddin said that the country had successfully implemented approach 1 and 2 (which was controling the outbreak and introducing the MCO and building resilience by introducing the PRIHATIN economic stimulus package) and it was time to move on to the next step.
"We will now implement the Conditional Movement Control Order. Under this phase, most of the economic and social activities will be allowed, except for some activities that involve large crowds and expose the public to the risk of the COVID-19 outbreak.
"Enhanced MCO will also be implemented in areas that have high COVID-19 cases," he said.
He added that many were suffering from a lack of income due to the MCO which has been ongoing for almost two months now.
"The country loses around RM2.4bil daily during the MCO and the total loss so far is estimated at around RM63bil," he said adding that if the MCO continues for another month, losses will total to about RM98bil.
While the regenerating the economy was important, he also understood concerns that if the MCO was lifted totally, it could cause an increased spread of COVID-19.
"I know that you are worried. I am worried too. It has happened in other countries. When the lockdown stopped, the number of COVID-19 cases increased dramatically. This is what we want to avoid," he said.
Standard Operating Procedures for all
“Based on advice from the Ministry of Health (MOH), and based on collected data, and the best practice guide stipulated by the World Health Organisation (WHO), the government has decided to reopen economic sectors cautiously, by implementing stringent health standard operating procedures (SOPs)."
"Starting May 4, 2020, almost all sectors of the economy and business activities will be allowed to operate subject to the terms and SOPs set by the authorities," he said.
He however said that businesses such as movie theaters, karaoke centers, reflexology centers, entertainment centers, nightclubs, theme parks, Ramadan bazaars, Aidilfitri bazaars, carnivals and all kinds of conferences and exhibitions will not be allowed.
"Other than that, sporting activities involving public gatherings, body contact and other risks of infection are also not permitted. This includes football, rugby, swimming and all indoor and stadium events. Outdoor sports activities that do not involve body touch and mass assembly are allowed,"
"This means you can play badminton or tennis outside without an audience. Jogging, cycling and playing golf is also allowed provided you practice social distancing and avoid body contact," he said adding that the full SOPs can be attained from the Nasional Security Council (MKN)'s website.
Other key points from PM's speech
1. Restaurants will be allowed to operate but social distancing must be adhered to. This includes:
- limiting the number of people sitting at a table
- 1 metre gap when paying at the counter
- hand saniters to be provided at counters
- all employees to wear face masks
- tables to be cleaned and sanitised as soon as customer leaves
- temperature checks for customers (if possible)
- name, phone number and date of visit to be recorded for all customers
2. Social activities such as parties, open houses, concerts and monthly gatherings are not allowed.
3. Religious activities are not allowed.
4. Travelling across state borders will not be allowed including during the Hari Raya holiday period.
5. All schools, colleges and other educational institutions will remain closed.
6. Companies asked to stagger work timings, encourage working from home or allow employees to work from home on alternate days to reduce congestion and help parents who have children who still cannot return to school.
7. Social distancing to be praticed even while taking public transportation. All those taking public transportation advised to wear masks.
8. Public servants will be allowed to work from home unless their duties require them to physically be at the office.
For a list of the full SOP's, visit https://www.mkn.gov.my