by ALIFAH ZAINUDDIN/ pic by TMR FILE
THE operating hours for public transportation and wet markets will be slightly extended during the month of Ramadhan.
Senior Minister (Security Cluster) Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakub said wet markets selling fresh vegetables and fruits, fish, chickens, and other meats will be allowed to operate for an additional two hours from 6am to 2pm daily.
For public transport, operating hours will be from 6am to 10am and from 4pm to 10pm.
Hypermarkets, restaurants, food deliveries and petrol stations will continue to operate from 8am to 8pm.
“This is to facilitate preparations in the month of Ramadhan. Many who are working, will typically be allowed to leave earlier throughout the holy month. People will also need to buy food for breaking fast and sahur,” Ismail Sabri said in his daily briefing yesterday.
He said the government has opted to maintain the operating hours for restaurants and hypermarkets to limit public movement.
“Bear in mind, we are still in the Movement Control Order (MCO) period. It will be difficult for the police to conduct checks if we give way because some may take advantage and say they are out to buy food when they are not,” Ismail Sabri said.
Further guidelines on prayers and other activities during Ramadhan will be announced by the Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department for Religious Affairs Datuk Dr Zulkifli Mohamad Al-Bakri.
Meanwhile, Ismail Sabri clarified that the government’s consideration to allow interstate travel does not include individual movements out of town.
“We have made this clear from the start that no one will be allowed to return to their hometown. What we are considering is to allow people from out of town to return to city centres because they need to work. But even then, nothing has been confirmed,” he said.
On Wednesday, the government announced that those who wished to travel interstate from their hometowns to Kuala Lumpur or other city centres could make an application online or register at the police station beginning tomorrow.
Ismail Sabri said the move will help the government take stock of public interest before it decides to temporarily uplift a blanket ban on interstate travel. The final decision will be made after May 1 upon the advice of the Health Ministry.
In another development, Ismail Sabri said the police are tracking runaways involving men who have fled an area near the Selayang wet market, which is currently under full lockdown.
“The reason we don’t give any prior notice on Enhanced MCO is to avoid people from fleeing. Imagine, if we had given a notice on the Selangor and Malayan Mansions, chances are many would have fled.
“It would be more complicated if they are positive of Covid-19. They could have infected a lot more people. So, we have blocked the area and immediately conduct screenings. If they are positive, we will send them to the hospital,” he said.