Non-essentials in Phase 1 states open today

Among the 11 sectors now allowed in Phase 1 are car washes, electric and electronic shops, furniture outlets, barbers and salons, as well as car showrooms and service centres

by AFIQ AZIZ / pic by MUHD AMIN NAHARUL

THE government has eased restrictions on economic activities in all phases of the National Recovery Plan (NRP) in light of the encouraging vaccination rate under the National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme (NCIP).

Prime Minister (PM) Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin yesterday announced that the trading and distribution sectors in states under Phases 1 and 2 can be fully opened, provided that 50% of the adult population in those states have been inoculated.

Additionally, the policy that comes into force today will only be applicable for those who are fully vaccinated.

“As of Aug 14, the rate of complete vaccination for the adult population (18 years and above) in the Klang Valley has reached 64.7%. As such, individuals who have completed vaccinations in the Klang Valley will enjoy these facilities when it comes into force.

“Detailed guidelines for the services will be released by the National Security Council soon,” Muhyiddin said in a statement yesterday.

According to the Special Committee of Covid-19 Vaccine Supply Access, five states that have reached more than 50% complete inoculation are Labuan (88.1%), Sarawak (79%), the Klang Valley (64.7%), Negri Sembilan (61.3%) and Perlis (52.7%).

Muhyiddin said among the 11 sectors allowed in Phase 1 are car washes, electric and electronic shops, furniture outlets, barbers and salons, as well as car showrooms and service centres.

Selangor, Kuala Lumpur, Putrajaya, Kedah, Negri Sembilan, Melaka and Johor are the states still under Phase 1.

Meanwhile, those who have been fully inoculated in the Phase 2 states — Kelantan, Pahang, Terengganu, Perak, Penang and Sabah — would be able to enjoy another 11 non-essential services on top of what is being allowed in the Phase 1 states.

This includes opening of tobacco outlets, including vape and electronic cigarettes, and the opening of outdoor shops.

Additionally, the Cabinet has allowed non-essential activities in manufacturing, construction, mining and quarrying nationwide to resume, but the capacity will be in accordance with the company workers’ vaccination rate.

A company with above 80% of its workers vaccinated will be allowed to fully operate, while those with 60% to 79% vaccination rate can operate at 80% capacity, Muhyiddin said.

Employers who have 40% to 59% of its staff vaccinated can carry out 60% of work capacity.

However, the PM emphasised that the allowance is only applicable to those who have received complete doses of vaccinations.

“Owners of premises listed in the businesses (that) can re-operate must also ensure customers entering the premises (show) their Covid-19 digital certificate of vaccination to prove that the individual has received a complete jab.

“Complete vaccination means 14 days after the date of injection of the second dose of the two-dose type vaccines, and 28 days after injection date for the single-dose vaccine,” Muhyiddin said.

The move is to enable the economic sector to resume in stages and avoid a continuous downturn.

The deadly virus has killed over 12,000 people since 18 months ago. The daily death toll has also increased to over 300 deaths a day.

However, Muhyiddin said the vaccination rate in the Phase 1 zones, especially in the Klang Valley, has eventually improved after Operation Surge Capacity in Selangor, Putrajaya and Kuala Lumpur, hence alleviating the overcapacity of health facilities in these areas.

“Health DG Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah on Aug 13 stated that the Operation Surge has seen (the) rate of Covid-19 admissions to hospitals for all age groups beginning to drop.

“We are also seeing positive developments from the NCIP in several states like Labuan, Sarawak, Negri Sembilan and the Klang Valley.

“For the first time yesterday, there were no new cases of infection Covid-19 reported in Labuan,” said Muhyiddin.

He further noted that in states where the inoculation rate is above 40%, the Health Ministry reported a decline in the number of Covid-19 cases for Categories 3-5.

Muhyiddin said the Crisis Preparedness Response Centre and Hospital Emergency Department in the Klang Valley has also reported an improved situation.

“As a result of proper planning and strategy implementation by the government, as well as good effects of the vaccination, the average daily patient waiting has decreased to 239 people on Aug 13,” he said, adding that this will help to ease the high-load capacity of the intensive care units.