KUALA LUMPUR – In a step closer to normality, the Malaysian government had previously announced a guideline or SOP for individuals who have been fully vaccinated which has been enforced since August 10. On August 15, Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin announced the newest SOPs that include re-opening 11 economic sectors starting today (August 16).
While evidently, we still have a long way to go before we can resume all these activities with abandon, the new SOP, for now, will grant some privileges to those fully vaccinated to engage in social activities.
To be classed as fully vaccinated, it must have been 14 days after the person has received the second dose of either the Pfizer, AstraZeneca, or Sinovac vaccine. For single-dose vaccines made by Johnson & Johnson or CanSino, it is 28 days after getting the jab.
August 16 SOPs
Eleven businesses and services under phase 1 of the National Recovery Plan will be allowed to resume operations today. These include car wash; retail outlets of electrical and electronic goods, home and kitchen appliances, furniture, sports equipment and car accessories; car dealerships; sales centres; wet markets and farmers markets; and jewellery stores. While hair salons will reopen, they will be limited to offering basic hair cuts.
On the other hand, business activities allowed to resume under phase 2 include retail outlets of photography, used goods, souvenirs and crafts, antiques, toys, carpets, outdoor equipment, tobacco, and cosmetics. Nurseries and shops catering to creative industries also receive the go-ahead.
Those confined to Selangor, Kuala Lumpur, Negeri Sembilan, Kedah, Johor, Malacca and Putrajaya, will have to remain patient and hopeful of the move to Phase 2 soon now that greater vaccination is well underway. Over 70% of the population in the Klang Valley have received at least one dose as of August 2, while nationally, close to 45% have received their first doses.
Criteria specified in the National Recovery Plan have been changed. According to Coordinating Minister Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Aziz, the number of new COVID-19 cases with serious symptoms will be used as a new indicator for the transition into phases 2 and 3. Perlis, Labuan, and parts of Sarawak have transitioned into phase 3.