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Whole of Malaysia Will Be Under MCO from Wednesday

Beginning of May 12 – Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin announced Malaysians will enter another nationwide movement control order (MCO).

He said the decision to put the whole country under a lockdown until June 7 was necessitated by rapidly rising Covid-19 case numbers.

In a statement, he also announced additional restrictions to the MCO such as workplace and vehicular capacity limits.

With daily cases exceeding 4,000 and active cases at 37,396 as well as 1,700 deaths reported as of May 10, Malaysia is facing a third Covid-19 wave that could trigger a national crisis.

Further, Muhyiddin also cited the detection of new Covid-19 variants in the country, the dwindling capacity of the national healthcare system, and poor compliance with standard operating procedures as the reasons for what he called the “drastic decision”.

Here are a few rules under the new MCO:

– Interstate and interdistrict travelling are prohibited, except for emergency, medical reasons, work, economic activities, vaccination, and reuniting with partners far away.

– All social events are prohibited.

– All sports activities are prohibited, except for those activities that can be carried out individually, such as jogging and cycling.

– All education institutions are prohibited to operate, except for those students sitting for international examinations.

– Daycare centres and kindergartens can continue to operate as long as they follow strict standard operating procedures (SOPs). This is to enable parents and guardians to be able to continue to work.

– Only three individuals are allowed to be in a vehicle, including the driver.

– Dine-in in restaurants are prohibited.

– Companies must allow employees to work from home and not more than 30% of the staff can be in the working space at all times.

– House visits and grave cleaning during Hari Raya is prohibited.

– Eid prayers in mosques and suraus are permitted as long as they are no more than 50 people on the premises that can accommodate over 1,000 people and no more than 20 people on the premises that can accommodate less than 1,000 people.

– During this period, all economic sectors can continue to operate.

This is also the first time the government has enforced a MCO for a four-week period as the previously these had been issued for up to two weeks at a time.

The announcement today caught many unawares as it came just hours after Senior Defence Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob’s statement on the latest MCO measures and because the government has repeatedly vowed to eschew using a nationwide MCO as a means to combat the pandemic.

After announcing the second MCO and proclaiming a state of Emergency in January, Muhyiddin told the country that the government would instead used targeted measures to try and contain the disease.

As recently as two days ago, Ismail Sabri also said the government had no plans to reintroduce a nationwide MCO.


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