People must still abide by given SOPs, which would eventually lead to a complete lifting of restrictions
by S BIRRUNTHA/ pic by MUHD AMIN NAHARUL
THE adherence of all Malaysians to the rules and regulations during the lockdown period has contributed to the reopening of more sectors and the freedom of movement in the country.
The implementation of the Conditional Movement Control Order (CMCO) and the Enhanced MCO (EMCO) have further helped the nation slowly deviate from the Covid-19 pandemic.
With that, Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin announced that the CMCO would be replaced with the Recovery MCO (RMCO) from June 10 to Aug 31.
Under the RMCO, a host of restrictions which were enforced during the previous stage were lifted with a forewarning that people must still abide by the given standard operating procedures (SOPs) in order for the RMCO to be successful, which would eventually lead to a complete lifting of restrictions.
Among the freedoms given under the RMCO include the lifting of the interstate travel ban. People are allowed to travel anywhere except to areas that are still under EMCO.
Schools will be reopening in phases starting on June 24, focusing on students who will be sitting for public examinations and similar international school exams this year.
The government has also allowed pre-schools and kindergartens to resume operations from July 1, subject to strict compliance with the SOP.
Childcare centres are allowed to operate starting from June 2, following the tabling of new and comprehensive SOPs by the Women, Family and Community Development Ministry.
Parents can now take their small children to public places, including shopping centres and restaurants with strict precautions to protect them from the Covid-19 infections.
Senior Minister (Security Cluster) Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob said parents or guardians would not be punished for bringing along children to public areas, as there are no penalties gazetted for such actions.
Meanwhile, restaurants and mamak eateries can go back to operating at full capacity with no limits to the number of people sitting at a table at any single time.
Ismail Sabri said this is applicable as long as restaurants comply with the necessary SOPs of social distancing.
Eateries are also allowed to operate between 7am and midnight, adding two hours to the previous operating time set by the government, which was until 10pm.
However, customers are still required to allow restaurants to carry out temperature checks and record details such as their names and contact number when entering premises.
Additionally, facilities such as gyms, indoor sports venues, halls and snooker centres have also resumed operations since June 15 under the supervision of the Youth and Sports Ministry.
Ismail Sabri said the public are now allowed to carry out sports and recreational activities without bodily contact for indoor and outdoor facilities. However, watersports like swimming in both public and private residence pools, as well as tournaments and sports competitions are still prohibited.
Similarly, barbershops, hair salons and beauty parlours have been given the approval to resume operations from June 10 with strict adherence to SOPs and hygiene.
This is also followed by the opening of morning markets, night markets and bazaars which was allowed to resume businesses on June 15 nationwide.
Traders and customers are advised to download and use the MySejahtera app to facilitate contact tracing in the event of possible exposure to Covid-19.
Commercial activities that involve marketing and promotional activities outside of business premises are allowed under the implementation of RMCO.
Museum visits, indoor busking, self-service laundry facilities and film shoots have also been given the green light.
Meetings, workshops and seminars can be done, as long as the organisers follow necessary health and safety protocols, and limited to 250 people.
Religious activities in mosques and other houses of worship in green zones are also permitted to operate at one-third of their normal capacities.
That being said, the government still prohibits certain activities where it will be difficult to carry out social distancing.
This includes pubs, nightclubs, massage centres, karaoke centres, theme parks, mass religious and social gatherings, open houses and other activities that involve large numbers of people in one place.
While the SOP for the use of fitting rooms in clothing stores is being studied, trying on fashion accessories, as well as cosmetics testers in stores are currently prohibited.
Overseas travel activities of Malaysian citizens and inbound tour activities involving foreign tourists entering Malaysia are still banned as of now.
However, Health DG Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah had noted that more economic sectors will be allowed to open throughout the RMCO period, as long as the number of new Covid-19 cases are under control.