Movement Control Order extended until 31 Aug, Malaysia enters RMCO phase

Malaysia’s Movement Control Order (MCO) has been extended until 31st August 2020 and it is now entering the recovery phase which is now called the Recovery Movement Control Order (RMCO) or Perintah Kawalan Pergerakan Pemulihan (PKPP). The announcement was made by Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin this afternoon during his address to the nation.

Malaysia has been placed under a movement control order (MCO) for 82 days since 18th March 2020. Restrictions were gradually lifted under the CMCO with the reopening of selected sectors on 4th May 2020. The current CMCO will end on 9th June and replaced by the RMCO.

Beginning 10th June, the government is lifting several restrictions as the country moves into a recovery phase, as part of its exit strategy for the MCO. This includes lifting restrictions on interstate travel and more economic sectors will be allowed to resume operations. Pubs, clubs, reflexology, karaoke, religious gathering, theme parks and open houses are still not permitted.

Interstate travel permitted

The government is lifting all interstate movement and domestic tourism activities will be permitted during the RMCO except for areas that are placed under the Enhanced Movement Control order (EMCO). Families may go on a domestic holiday but they must adhere to the new normal practices. International travel is still not permitted as our borders are still closed.

Permitted business activities

During the RMCO, most social, education, religious and business activities will be reopened in stages with strict SOP. As announced yesterday, barbershops and hair salons will be permitted to reopen. Open markets, pasar pagi, pasar malam, pasar tamu, food courts, food trucks and food stalls will be allowed to reopen.

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Commercial activities involving sales and marketing at non-business premises will be allowed as well. This includes museum visits, indoor busking, self-service dobi, recreational fishing and photography. Office meetings and workshops are allowed as long as it complies with health protocols and space requirements.

The PM said that businesses may resume normal hours after getting used to the required SOP in the new normal. He reminded everyone to wear a face mask, ensure social distancing and frequently wash their hands with soap or use hand sanitisers.

Sports and recreational activities

Several sports and recreational activities will be permitted with SOP. This includes team training for sports, and activities that does not involve contact such as bowling, badminton, archery, shooting and more. Group outdoor activities such as cycling and motorcycle convoys are allowed. The government is still prohibiting competitions and sport activities that involves large gathering of fans and spectators such as at stadium, swimming pool and other contact sports such as rugby, boxing, football, basketball and hockey.

Schools to be reopened in stages

Muhyiddin Yassin is aware that parents have been asking when schools can resume. He also shared that schools will be reopened gradually during the RMCO in stages after consultation with the Ministry of Health. The Education Ministry will make an announcement in due time.

Government hopes to enter normalisation phase after 31 Aug

The Prime Minister hopes everyone will continue to be disciplined and if God willing, the COVID-19 pandemic can continue to be in control and Malaysia can enter the normalisation phase after 31st August 2020 until a vaccine is found. He reminded that if there’s a surge of COVID-19 cases during the RMCO, the government will not hesitate to impose EMCO at affected locations. He hopes that everyone will cooperate to help to contain the spread of the disease.

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He also urged everyone to install the MySejahtera app which can be used to assess your health and well-being. He also said the app will also help health authorities to take faster and efficient action to inform close contacts in the event of an infection.

Malaysia currently has a total of 8,303 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 117 deaths. There are 37 new cases reported yesterday that consists of 8 imported cases. Among the 29 local cases, 10 are Malaysians while 19 are foreigners. 79.91% of cases have recovered and the mortality rate is at 1.41%.

At the moment, there are only 5 red zones (more than 40 active cases) remaining in the country located at Hulu Langat, Cheras, Lembah Pantai, Sepang and Rembau. The states of Pulau Pinang, Perlis, Kedah, Kelantan and Terengganu are fully green with 0 active cases.

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Alexander Wong