CMCO continues to drag travel, aviation

F&B sector is thriving during CMCO which coincides with the holy month of Ramadhan


THE extension of the Conditional Movement Control Order (CMCO) in several states continues to drag the travel and aviation sectors.

Bank Islam Malaysia Bhd economist Adam Mohamed Rahim told The Malaysian Reserve (TMR) that due to conditional interstate travel, tourist sites and occupancy levels of hotels are sluggish.

“Consequently, the aviation sector too is affected from the ban in interstate travel during the CMCO,” he said.

Echoing the same sentiment, Putra Business School Assoc Prof Dr Ahmed Razman Abdul Latiff said sectors that depend on the movement of people, local and foreigners, suffer the most.

He added that hospitality and tourism, entertainment, aviation and transportation continue to endure economic upset brought by the CMCO.

“Few sectors actually benefitted from restricted CMCO, but majority suffer because of the interconnectedness of the domestic economic system through supply chain, as well as consumer confidence, which ultimately affects spending behaviour,” he told TMR.

However, Adam pointed out that certain activities can soften the impact, particularly the country’s tourism.

“It could be somewhat buffered by ‘staycation’ activities within a particular state. For example, the Klang Valley citizens could still travel to other parts of Selangor; such as visiting the Sekinchan paddy fields or watch fireflies in Kuala Selangor,” he explained.

Meanwhile, he said the food and beverages (F&B) sector is thriving during the CMCO which coincides with the month of Ramadhan, with the gatherings for iftar, but in compliance with the relevant standard operating procedures (SOPs).

This includes keeping attendance at 50% of the location’s capacity in CMCO areas for gatherings in halls or hotel ballrooms.

For Ramadhan buffets held in restaurants and coffee houses, attendance can be at 100%, or according to the size of the premises, in compliance with the relevant SOPs and physical distancing measures.

“On a broader scale, the CMCO period, which also coincides with the uptick in the number of cases not just in Malaysia but also other parts of the world such as India, benefits certain sectors such as rubber gloves, as people will continue to use gloves to practise good hygiene,” he added.

Last week, Senior Minister (Security Cluster) Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob said the interstate travel ban will remain until May 17.

He said all states will continue to undergo either the CMCO or Recovery MCO, while Sabah’s movement restriction has been tightened to CMCO from RMCO.

Speculations were rife that the government may impose another MCO from this week to mitigate the virus spread.

Ismail Sabri is expected to announce the SOPs for the Hari Raya Aidilfitri celebration in the near future.