Friday, May 1, 2020

MCO To Be Toned Down On 4 May: Interstate Travel, Contact Sports and Mass Gathering Still Not Allowed

Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin earlier today has announced that almost all industries and businesses are allowed to resume their operations starting from this Monday, 4 May. However, they must follow the strict guidelines and standard operational procedure (SOP) that have been laid down by the authorities.

At the same time, some recreational, sports, and social activities are also allowed to take place starting from the same day. In general, there are two main factors that determined whether a business, recreational, and social activity can take place: they must not involve close body contact and mass gathering.
In his speech, among examples of businesses that are still being prohibited under the Movement Control Order include cinemas, karaoke centres, reflexology centres, entertainment centres, night clubs, theme parks, conferences and exhibitions, Ramadan and Aidilfitri bazars, and sales carnivals.
Similarly, recreational and sport activities that are also not allowed to take place for the time being includes football, rugby, and swimming in publicly accessible pool. The restriction also applies to all indoor and stadium-based sports as well as gymnasiums.
Same goes for social activities such as kenduri, party, open house, buka puasa gathering, concert, launch events, and staff assembly are still prohibited. Not to forget, religious congregations at mosques, suraus, churches, temples, and other house of worships are not allowed as well.
Meanwhile, PM Muhyiddin also pointed out that the public are not allowed to make  interstate travel unless for work reason or to come back to the city after being stranded at hometown. The same restriction also covers interstate travel for balik kampung during the upcoming Raya holiday too.
As for schools and higher education institutions, the government decided that they will continue to be closed for the time being. The list of prohibited businesses and activities which will be updated from time to time is available at the National Security Council’s website according to PM Muhyiddin but naturally, the site is generally not accessible at the moment likely due to the high traffic triggered by his speech.
It goes without saying that the impact of this announcement by PM Muhyiddin is going to be quite significant. With such a large scope of areas to cover, it seems quite doubtful that a smooth transition is going to take place immediately.
Nevertheless, let’s make this clear: the battle against COVID-19 pandemic is still far from over. So, you shouldn’t let your guard down and please continue to exercise good hygiene while wearing face mask and practice social distancing in public places.

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