KUALA LUMPUR – Malaysia will again implement the Movement Control Order (MCO) nationwide from Wednesday (May 12) to June 7 in an effort to curb the growing spread of COVID-19.
Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin announced the enforcement of the MCO after a Special National Security Council (MKN) Meeting on Management of COVID-19, which he chaired in Putrajaya yesterday.
“With daily cases exceeding 4,000 cases, 37,396 active cases, and 1,700 fatalities reported as of May 10, Malaysia is facing the third wave of the pandemic, which can trigger a national crisis.
“The emergence of new variants with higher infection rates, an alarming constraint to the capacity of the healthcare system and poor SOP compliance among the people demand that the government take a more drastic action to prevent the country from falling into a more severe health catastrophe,” he said in a statement.
Following the implementation of the MCO, Muhyiddin said house-to-house visits, as well as visits to cemeteries during the Hari Raya Aidilfitri celebrations, are banned.
“Aidilfitri prayers will be allowed, but limited to only 50 people for mosques and suraus with capacity exceeding 1,000 while only 20 people are allowed into mosques and suraus that can accommodate less than 1,000 people.
“This limit will also be used for regular prayers and Friday prayers,” he said.
The Prime Minister said the operation of non-Islamic houses of worship would also be tightened and the standard operating procedure (SOP) regarding this would be set by the National Unity Ministry.
Apart from that, Muhyiddin said employers were required to implement the work from home (WFH) policy, with no more than 30% of their management staff present in the office at any one time.
For the public sector, the WFH policy will be determined based on the guidelines issued by the Chief Secretary from time to time.
On the number of people allowed in private vehicles, taxis, and e-hailing rides, Muhyiddin said it would be limited to three persons, including the driver, while the number of people in vehicles that are part of the industrial and economic sectors would be based on the vehicles’ commercial registration licences.
“The number of people allowed in public transportation must be in accordance with physical distancing and comply with the stipulated SOP,” he said.
For the duration of this MCO, the Prime Minister said no dine-in at food premises will be allowed, except for drive-through and takeaway.
In announcing the closure of all educational institutions, Muhyiddin said an exception would be made for students sitting for international examinations while child care centres, nurseries, and kindergartens are allowed to operate according to stipulated SOP so as to assist working parents or guardians.
He said that interdistrict and interstate travels are prohibited, except for emergencies, health matters, work and economic purposes, vaccination appointments, and long-distance couples.
Muhyiddin said all forms of social gatherings, including wedding and engagement receptions, prayer ceremonies and tahlil, dinners, birthdays, as well as official government and private functions are not allowed.
Any form of face-to-face seminars, conferences, and meetings are also prohibited, he said.
The Prime Minister said, however, akad nikah ceremonies are allowed, with the number of attendees and SOP to be set by the state Islamic agencies for Muslims and by the National Registration Department for non-Muslims.
Other than that, all sports and recreational activities are also banned, except for individual sports and recreational activities in open areas, such as jogging, cycling and exercise by adopting physical distancing.
Muhyiddin said that throughout the duration of the MCO, the specific measures being implemented in Sabah, Sarawak and the Federal Territory of Labuan will be continued.
He said that during the MCO, all economic sectors will be allowed to operate and a detailed SOP on all the prohibitions and directives for the MCO this time would be announced by the MKN.
The Prime Minister said the government would continue to use the Hotspot Identification by Dynamic Engagement (HIDE) system to monitor COVID-19 hotspot premises and areas as well as take follow-up actions.
Muhyiddin, at the same time, urged the public to face the third wave of COVID-19 with full of discipline as the pandemic had been described as more violent and critical.