Updated SOPs for businesses and domestic travel

Many of us heaved a sigh of relief when it was announced yesterday that KL, Selangor, Johor and Penang will be moving to the Conditional Movement Control Order (CMCO) starting 5th March 2021. Not only are we able to travel between districts in a couple of days’ time, businesses will be allowed to open until later too.

As of yesterday evening, 2nd March, new SOPs and guidelines have been announced and will be in place nationwide come 5th March. This includes the allowance of interstate travel between KL and Selangor for those living in the 2 states without a police permit, and reopening of business sectors previously closed during the MCO, such as cinemas, manicure parlours and massage centres.

Interstate travel allowed between KL & Selangor

Restrictions on interdistrict and interstate travel is one of the strictest guidelines that comes with the implementation of the MCO, compared to CMCO and Recovery MCO (RMCO). But on Friday, 5th March, travelling between districts within a state will be permitted for all states, except for Sabah.

Interstate travel between KL and Selangor without a police permit will be allowed as well, as reported by Majlis Keselamatan Negara (MKN) on Twitter. However, the previous nationwide ban on interstate travel is still in place for other states, and you’ll still require police permission if you want to travel between them.

Updated SOPs starting 5th March - KL streets
Image credit: @klcityscape

While KL, Selangor and Putrajaya were grouped as a single zone with no travel limits between the states and Federal Territories before, travel from KL and Selangor to Putrajaya, and vice versa, will now require a police permit. But if you already have a letter of employment from your employer, you’ll be able to travel between the 2 states and Putrajaya by simply showing this at a roadblock.

This is to curb COVID-19 cases from spreading from red to green zones, as Putrajaya is under the RMCO, and to accommodate people who frequently commute between KL and Selangor.

Updated SOPs starting 5th March - Putrajaya
Police permission still needed for travel to and from Putrajaya
Image adapted from: @_lovesora

Cinemas and tourists attractions permitted to reopen

Updated SOPs starting 5th March - tourism attractions
Image credit: Zoo Negara Malaysia

Along with updated SOPs regarding domestic travel, business sectors and tourism attractions forced to close during the MCO will now be permitted to reopen for states under the CMCO and RMCO. This includes businesses such as massage, reflexology, message and wellness centres, and attractions such as aquariums, edutainment centres, farms, recreational parks, and zoos.

Other sectors, such as financial institutions, agriculture and construction will be allowed to operate too.

Image credit: GSC

Cinemas, which have been closed since the beginning of 2021, will be allowed to reopen with strict SOPs, such as leaving a gap in seating between patrons, limited capacity in movie halls, and sanitising of spaces. The film industry sees easing restrictions too, with film and TV show shootings permitted. But only 70% of crew – including behind-the-scenes personnel and actors, performers and artists – will be allowed on set at a time, and on the basis that filming goes on without an audience.

Social events with 70% capacity also allowed

Come 5th March, social events will be allowed nationwide too. This includes weddings and receptions, engagement parties, reunions, retreats, birthday celebrations, and religious events such as aqiqah, doa selamat and tahlil, as reported by New Straits Times.

Updated SOPs starting 5th March - social events
Image credit: Unsplash / Thomas William 

But this will be allowed provided there is crowd control at these events. Erring on the side of caution, there will be limits on attendees for events in CMCO, with 50% capacity permitted, while attendees for events held in states under the RMCO will be determined based on the size of the venue.

Likewise, meetings, incentives, conferences, and exhibitions (MICE), and seminars, face-to-face meetings, conferences, workshops, trainings, courses and trade exhibitions will also be allowed to take place, but with the same cap on attendance for states under the CMCO and RMCO.

COVID-19 daily cases hit all-time low since the start of 2021

These updated SOPs follows another small win for Malaysia – the lowest recorded daily COVID-19 cases yesterday, 2nd March. While we look forward to cases dipping below the 4-digit mark, yesterday’s total new COVID-19 cases of 1,555 is the lowest daily cases that Malaysia has seen since the start of 2021.

Updated SOPs starting 5th March - COVID-19 cases
Image credit: KKM 

Of yesterday’s total cases, Selangor recorded the most cases with 672 new cases, with Johor, Sarawak, and KL following behind with 163, 159 and 145 cases respectively. Perlis and Labuan recorded zero new cases, while Putrajaya only reported 1 new case and Pahang, 3 new cases.

2,528 COVID-19 cases were discharged yesterday, and this puts Malaysia’s total recovered cases at 278,431, over 90% of the total number of confirmed cases of 304,135, as of 2nd March.

Updated SOPs nationwide, starting 5th March

The easing of restrictions comes as a relief to many at this time, especially those whose livelihoods have been adversely affected by the MCO. But it’s unlikely that the virus will be completely eradicated from our shores in the next couple of months, so we’ll have to continue to adhere to SOPs and guidelines to keep pushing down our daily numbers to new lows.

More news in Malaysia here:

Cover image adapted from: @klcityscape, Unsplash / Thomas William, GSC and Zoo Negara Malaysia

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