Phase 1 of MCO 3.0 from 1st June to 14th June 2021

The announcement of a full lockdown in Malaysia may sound like deja vu to anyone who’s lived through the Movement Control Order back in March 2020. This is because safety measure guidelines that have been announced for Phase 1 of the third round of the MCO slated to last from 1st June to 14th June 2021, are pretty similar.

To help you navigate the new phase of MCO 3.0, or Full Movement Control Order (FMCO), we’ve rounded up revised SOPs and listed the businesses that are still allowed to operate while you’re looking to stock up your pantry and more in the next 2 weeks.

Essential businesses to remain open and a ban on interdistrict travel

A little recap for those who may not know: On 28th May, the Prime Minister’s office announced that Malaysia will be undergoing a full lockdown starting 1st June due to the uptick in COVID-19 cases in the country. If this 2-week lockdown is successfully at helping to bring down daily cases, then we will move to Phase 2 of the MCO 3.0, which will see loosened SOPs. 

As we all don’t want yet another MCO extension, you’ll want to take note of the changes that come with MCO 3.0 Phase 1. This includes the closures of all shops except for essential businesses and markets, and limits on travel and the number of individuals in a vehicle.

Essential businesses remain open

All shops will close during this 2-week period. But essential businesses that will remain open are supermarkets and hypermarkets, so Malaysians need not worry about getting their groceries at this time. Restaurants and eateries will be serving customers as usual, but for takeaways and deliveries only.

Pharmacies, self-care stores, convenience stores, mini marts, sundries, and sections for food and necessities in department stores will continue to operate as well, as reported by Bernama.

Among the list of places still open during MCO 3.0 Phase 1 are businesses offering essential services, such as laundromats, pet shops, animal clinics, opticians, hardware stores, vehicle workshops, e-commerce, and wholesale and distribution.

These shops are allowed to operate from 8AM to 8PM.

MCO 3.0 Phase 1 SOPs - GROCERY

For more options to get groceries, morning markets will be allowed to open from 6AM to 2PM, and wet markets, from 7AM to 12PM.

Likewise, permanent farmersmarkets, MyFarm outlets, and Area Farmers organisation complexes can open from 6AM to 4PM, and wholesale markets, from 12.01AM to 6AM and 11AM to 4PM, during the 2-week lockdown.

All in all, 17 types of essential businesses and services will still be up and running, and includes other sectors such as accommodation services – but for quarantine purposes only – delivery logistics, pawn shops, and construction.

Selected manufacturing sectors will operate too, with 60% capacity limit on workers. This includes 12 sectors that produce essentials at this time, such as food and beverage, personal care products and cleaning supplies, and electrical and electronics.

Restrictions on vehicles and travel

Restrictions on vehicles, however, will be slightly less strict compared to previous phases of the MCO in 2020.

While there will be a 10KM travel radius limit from your house, 2 individuals living in the same household can travel in a vehicle this time around.

Exceptions for 3 pax per household in a vehicle will be made for health, security or emergency reasons, as well as COVID-19 screenings. Those who are seeking medical services beyond their 10KM travel radius limit will be permitted to do so if there aren’t any present in the area.

MCO 3.0 Phase 1 SOPs - roadblock
Image credit: Kementerian Pertahanan Malaysia

There will be no curfew after 8PM either, when all businesses will close their operations for the day during this period, as announced by Senior Minister (Security Cluster) Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob and reported by Malay Mail. Nonetheless, Malaysians are encouraged to stay home after this hour.

The ban on interstate and interdistrict travel will remain, but workers can continue to travel with valid permits. Those travelling for emergency reasons, including visiting a seriously ill parent in another state or district, will be granted permission via police permits.

However, long-distance married couples will no longer be allowed to travel between states or districts as previously allowed, as reported by Bernama.

Update: On 31st May, National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme coordinating minister Khairy Jamaluddin announced that those with vaccination appointments can travel between states and districts too, as reported by The Star.

Jogging and exercise allowed

Making sure that Malaysians can continue to get fresh air or their routine jogs, outdoor noncontact recreational activities will be allowed. This, however, is limited to individual jogs and exercises in your neighbourhood from 7AM to 8PM, with physical distancing observed, as reported by The Star.

Cycling, which had been previously allowed under MCO 3.0, is not stated as an allowed activity, however.

MCO 3.0 Phase 1 SOPs - outdoor exercise
Image credit: Mei Sim 雲鎂鑫

Public transportation operating at 50% capacity

Petrol stations will be open from 6AM to 8PM. Those located on highways will operate for 24 hours too.

But those travelling for work can continue to use public transportation services, which will be running as usual but with a 50% capacity limit on passengers. Individuals can also continue to seek rides with taxis and e-hailing vehicles. But the 2 people per vehicle rule will apply here as well, with the driver included. This means that you can only travel alone if you are hailing a ride.

MCO 3.0 Phase 1 SOPs - public transporation
Image credit: Polis Diraja Malaysia ( Royal Malaysia Police )

Religious sites open with limited capacity

Mosques and suraus will be able to welcome 12 committee members at a time, but for prayer activities only. Likewise, other places of worship can accommodate a maximum of 12 committee members at one period as well, but not including devotees.

Childcare facilities for frontliners

To help ease the burden of working parents and frontliners, childcare centres and kindergartens will still operate specifically for these 2 groups and their children aged 4 to 6 years old. International and expatriate schools, as well as mind development centres, will run as per usual for these parents and their children as well.

Outdoor excursions now limited for children under 12 years old

Update: In the full list of SOPs published by National Security Council (MKN) on 1st June, children under the age of 12 will not be allowed to go out in public except for 4 reasons. These include emergency reasons, medical treatment, education or exercise.

Those with little ones will want to take note of this, as it means that children will not be allowed to go to grocery stores and other public areas during the 2-week lockdown.

Stricter rules for MCO 3.0 Phase 1

Guidelines announced for Phase 1 of MCO 3.0 comes with stricter SOPs. But it’s only because we all want daily COVID-19 cases to drop in Malaysia, as we’ve been seeing some pretty worrisome numbers in the past week.

So let’s all do our best to stay at home during the coming 2-week full lockdown and only be out for essentials, so we can hopefully see declining cases and ensure that this MCO 3.0 Phase 1 will not last longer than it has to.

MCO 3.0 Phase 1 SOPs

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Cover image adapted from: The Smart Local Singapore and Mei Sim 雲鎂鑫

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