SOPs implemented for retail industry in Malaysia

SOPs for shopping malls in Malaysia
SOPs will be implemented at shopping malls to help crowd control
Image adapted from:
Penang Kini

Shopping malls across Malaysia have been taking preventive measures to help curb the spread of COVID-19. This comes as good news for businesses that have been forced to temporarily shut during the Movement Control Order (MCO).

Now with the Conditional MCO (CMCO) in place, more retail shops are allowed to resume operations. But a few stragglers are yet to observe these measures, with viral photos of crowds at malls surfacing online. As there is still potential for the virus to spread, Health Director-General Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah announced on 19th May 2020 that SOPs will now be implemented for the retail industry.

Crowds at shopping malls spotted nationwide

With businesses trying to get back on their feet and Hari Raya just around the corner, discount signs have been popping up at retail stores and attracting crowds. But snaking lines that lack social distancing are a sight of concern for many, including our Health DG, who called them “alarming” at yesterday’s daily briefing on COVID-19 from the Health Ministry. 

Photos in reference presumably meant the crowd of shoppers spotted outside retail stores at Queensbay Mall in Penang on 16th May, which quickly went viral online.

Crowds at malls
Crowds seen outside Padini Concept Store and Brands Outlet
Image credit: Penang Kini 

Another viral video shared on Facebook by AJ Studios showed shoppers entering Jakel Mall in KL with hardly any social distancing too. And it’s not just malls, crowds at roadside food stalls in Shah Alam were also spotted by a Twitter user on 18th May.  

Jakel Mall
Image adapted from:
AJ Studios

SOPs for the retail industry, including shopping malls, implemented

According to a report by Malay Mail, the National Security Council (NSC) has now come up with SOPs for the retail industry in response to the viral images. It’ll cover shopping malls, department stores, supermarkets, clothing shops, and mini marts

Shopping mall benchMalls have already been carrying out preventive measures
Image credit: Pavilion KL

So while shopping malls and retailers have already been carrying out preventive measures – such as temperature checks, providing hand sanitisers, and disinfection of premises – all of this will now be required for those operating during Hari Raya.

Social distancing lifts
Expect to see more of these social distancing efforts at malls
Image credit: Pavilion KL

Limits on customers entering shops, enforcement of social distancing on shoppers, and masks worn by employees are also included in the established guidelines, as reported by New Straits Times

Social distancing at malls
Image credit: @JohnShenLee

This follows a report from The Malaysia Reserve on 12th May that says anyone found non-compliant with SOPs will face legal action and a possible fine, as mere warnings don’t seem to be doing its job. 

Shopping malls now have SOPs in response to viral images

Along with the announcement of SOPs implemented for retailers, the Health DG also said that Malaysia is on track for daily single-digit new cases, which was predicted back in April 2020.  But this can all go downhill easily, as COVID-19 is still a threat to the public. 

This is why it’s important to adhere to SOPs whenever we’re out and avoid crowded places so we can finally return to our usual routines in peace. This ensures that we’re not risking another spike in cases while Malaysia is showing signs of recovery. 

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