Here’s what you need to know about the Recovery MCO—beginning on 10 June 2020


By Ronn Tan

Here’s what you need to know about the Recovery MCO—beginning on 10 June 2020

EDIT: 11 January 2021

Breaking: MCO for Selangor, Wilayah Persekutuan (Kuala Lumpur, Labuan and Putrajaya) and four other states, effective 13 – 26 January 2021.

We’ve updated the story here for more info.

Update (12 October 2020):

Senior Defence Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob announced that Kuala Lumpur, Selangor, and Putrajaya will be placed under Conditional Movement Control Order (CMCO) from midnight 14 October to 27 October 2020.

During this period, inter-district travelling will not be allowed and only two persons from a household are allowed to go out at one time for essentials. Places that will be closed include schools, higher learning institutions, skills training institutes, kindergarten, nursery, tahfiz centres, public parks, recreational parks, mosques, and non-Muslim houses of worship.

In addition to night clubs and entertainment centres, sports activities, recreational, social, cultural, and wedding receptions will not be allowed.

The National Security Council will announce more detailed standard operating procedures (SOP) soon but for now—all economic activities in Selangor, KL, and Putrajaya can proceed as usual.

Update (5 October 2020):

Beginning 7 October 2020, Kota Kinabalu, Penampang, and Putatan districts in Sabah will be put under Conditional Movement Control Order (CMCO). According to Senior Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob, “movement in and out of the areas under CMCO is strictly prohibited” and “only essential services, including factories and chains related to necessary services are allowed.” Businesses will only be allowed to open from 6am to 6pm and dine-ins will not be allowed.

He also said that this was decided in a meeting with the Ministry of Health (MOH), and Sabah’s state government. As of 4 October 2020, there are 12,381 confirmed cases of Covid-19 in Malaysia—with 137 deaths.

Update (2 October 2020):

Beginning 3 October 2020, inter-district travel will be banned in Sabah. Restrictions will be in effect until 16 October, according to Senior Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob. However, those in essential services will be exempted. If you’re working in a different district, you will need to show proof of work.

In addition, non-Sarawakians from Sabah and Labuan will be banned from entering Sarawak from 4 October until 18 October 2020. This is part of the state’s method of protecting the Sarawak, according to Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah.

For Sarawakians in Sabah and Labuan that would like to return to the state, they will have to submit both the Enter Sarawak online application and e-health declaration form.

Update (10 September 2020):

According to Defence Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob, operating hours for convenience stores and food outlets are now extended to 2am instead of 12am.

Update (28 August 2020):

The Prime Minister has announced that the RMCO will be extended to 31 December 2020. “The important thing is we must continue to get used to wearing face masks, washing our hands, maintaining personal hygiene, and avoiding crowded places. I believe we are all already doing this, which is why we have successfully prevented the spread of Covid-19 in our communities,” Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin said during the announcement.

Update (6 August 2020):

To facilitate Covid-19 contact-tracing, the MySejahtera app will be made compulsory at all businesses with the exception of places with unstable Internet connection, such as rural areas.

Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob said: “It is all right if [business premises] want to use other apps in addition to the MySejahtera App such as SeLangkah. But they must have the MySejahtera app.” The Attorney General Chambers will gazette the regulation soon.

As of 6 August 2020, Malaysia has 9,023 confirmed Covid-19 cases with 8,702 discharged and 125 deaths.

Update (1 August 2020):

According to Senior Minister (Security) Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob, face masks will be mandatory in Malaysia whenever you’re in crowded public areas from 1 August 2020. A fine of up to RM1,000 will be given to those who do not comply—under the Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases Act.

This includes cinemas, markets, and tourist destinations, as well as in public transportation such as trains, buses, and e-hailing vehicles. However, you are not required to wear a mask if you’re in your own private vehicle.

Update (21 July 2020):

Starting 24 July 2020, everyone returning to Malaysia from overseas will be required to undergo mandatory quarantine at hotels or quarantine centres. According to Senior Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob, this rule applies to both Malaysians and non-citizens. They will also have to bear the total cost of the quarantine.

However, Malaysians no longer have to take a Covid-19 swab test three days prior to their flight from overseas. Non-citizens are still required to do so.

Update (14 July 2020):

Foreign Affairs Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein announced that Malaysia and Singapore have agreed to implement Reciprocal Green Lane (RGL) and Periodic Commuting Arrangement (PCA) travel. This means that citizens from both countries are allowed to cross the border for work or official purposes—starting 10 August.

Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein said: “The RGL scheme will enable cross-border travels for essential business and official purposes between both countries. Eligible travellers will have to abide by prevailing COVID-19 prevention and public health measures mutually agreed upon by both countries, including undergoing polymerase chain reaction (PCR) swab tests. They will also be expected to submit to the relevant authorities of the receiving country a controlled itinerary and adhere to this controlled itinerary during their visit.”

In a joint statement with Singapore’s Dr Vivian Balakrishnan, the pair mentioned that Singapore and Malaysia residents holding long-term immigration passes for business and work purposes in the other country are allowed to enter that country for work under the PCA scheme. 10 days prior to their implementation of the two schemes, requirements, health protocols, and application process involved for entry and exit into Malaysia and Singapore will be published by both governments.

In addition to that, sports competitions and championships for non-contact sports—including diving, chess, racing, gymnastics, and badminton—are allowed starting 15 July. However, live spectators are still prohibited. Other sports such as silat, taekwondo, sepak takraw, squash, hockey, rugby, basketball, and football are also allowed except for competitions. This was announced by Senior Minister (Security Cluster) Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob.

He added that local championships can reopen. They include Malaysia Rugby League, Sepak Takraw League (STL), Malaysian Hockey League (MHL), Malaysian Football League (MFL), Malaysia Premier League, and Malaysia Super League. However, health standard operating procedures (SOP) need to be followed at all times.

Update (10 July 2020):

Beginning 15 July, the 250-pax limit will no longer be in effect. According to Senior Minister (Security Cluster) Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob, the government has “agreed for the number of guests and participants to be based on the size of the event space and on condition that there is one-metre social distancing.” For example, only 800 people are allowed in a hall with a capacity of 1,000.

In addition to the above, “game arcades, indoor funfairs, edutainment centres, children’s play gym, machine operated amusement, game technology, and family karaoke centres” will also be allowed to start operating from 15 July. SOP that must be practised include maintaining social distancing, ensuring patrons have the MySejahtera app, taking temperature checks, and limiting the number of visitors to the size of the establishment. Take note that discos and pubs are still prohibited from operating.

Update (1 July 2020):

Beginning 3 July 2020, all mosques and suraus in Selangor will reopen for Friday prayers and daily congregational prayers—subject to SOPs. Depending on the mosque’s capacity, the number of congregants is set at a maximum of 500 people.

It was also announced by the Ministry of Education (MOE) that the 2020 Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia or SPM will take place from 6 January 2021 to 9 February 2021. The specific dates for the beginning of the schooling year in 2021 will be revealed soon. You can read the full statement here.

Starting 1 July 2020, Malaysians can also start going to spa, wellness, and reflexology centres as they are now allowed to begin operations. SOPs such as wearing masks and taking temperature still apply. Take note that only local Malaysians are allowed in this context.

Remember that mandatory temperature checks are only required at building entrances. This means that you now only need to register at shops.

Update (25 June 2020):

From 1 July 2020, cinema, theatre operations, and indoor live events will be allowed to operate—according to Senior Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob. However, strict SOPs set by authorities will have to be followed. Subject to hall capacity, attendance is limited to 250 people per show while practising social distancing.

In addition to that, the government will also allow recreational swimming in public swimming pools, hotel pools, condominiums and gated communities, as well as private swimming pools, the holding of meetings, conferences, seminars, courses, and training—beginning 1 July 2020. Water theme parks, however, are still not allowed to begin operations.

According to Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob, “these swimming pools should register the notification of opening with MITI (Ministry of International Trade and Industry) and the local authorities for the purpose of compliance with the SOPs and monitoring by KBS (Ministry of Youth and Sports)”. The website for MITI can be accessed here.

Update (18 June 2020):

Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob announced that restaurants can now operate at full capacity nationwide. This means that there will be no limit to the amount of people at a table. You are now allowed to dine with more than four people. However, compliance with SOP is still a necessity. Previously, restaurants were required to close at 10pm but they can now operate from 7am until 12am.

According to Dr Siti Mariah Mahmud, Selangor exco for health, welfare, women empowerment, and family committee, non-Muslim places of worship can open their doors from 19 June 2020. However, they have to comply with standard operating procedures (SOP). Children below the age of 12 are prohibited from entering places of worship.

Update (12 June 2020):

Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob has announced that e-hailing and taxi services can operate without time limit. In addition to that, they are allowed to take in full capacity. As part of the SOP, drivers will have to make sure they have information of passengers for contact tracing.

Still on transport, the Defence Minister has also revealed that public buses, express buses, ferries, LRT. MRT, KTM, and planes are now allowed to operate on 100 per cent capacity—with the application of social distancing and SOP rules.

During RMCO, Friday prayers and the congregational obligatory prayers can be held in mosques nationwide. The surau is also subjected to the same rules to conduct prayers (with special permission). Face masks need to be worn at all times, worshipers are required to bring their own mat, and perform ablution at home. Worshipers are limited to one-third of the prayer space (or a maximum of 40).

Update (10 June 2020):

Students who are about to take important exams in Malaysia will be allowed to return to school by 24 June 2020. This includes SPM and similar examinations. Education Minister Dr. Mohd Radzi bin Md Jidin also mentioned that every class can only have a maximum of 20 students each—with food and drinks packed beforehand by canteen operators. Moreover, students are required to eat in their classrooms.

Food delivery services can now operate until 12am instead of 10pm (as observed during CMCO).

Beginning on 15 June, hiking will also be allowed.


It seems like Malaysians are gradually adapting to the “New Normal” and adhering to recommended standard operating procedures (SOPs) given by the government. With the Conditional Movement Control Order (CMCO) scheduled to end on 9 June 2020, Malaysians were (unsurprisingly) waiting to find out if the CMCO will be extended.

The answer is—yes. During a live telecast on 7 June 2020, Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin announced that the CMCO ending on 9 June will be extended to 31 August 2020 as Recovery MCO (RCMO). He also said that the COVID-19 pandemic in Malaysia is contained, but the public will still have to follow the SOPs provided to be safe. After all, there are no vaccines for the novel coronavirus yet.

“During the implementation period of RMCO, more restrictions will be relaxed to allow the public to carry out their daily activities while complying to the standard operating procedures”, he said during the announcement.

Here’s what you need to know:

Interstate Travel

Many Malaysians have been waiting for this. According to the Prime Minister, interstate travelling will be permitted—except to and from red zones. This also means that domestic tourism can start again. Thinking of that island trip you’ve been planning? It’s a dream, no more.

As for international travelling, the country’s borders are still shut. Hence, Malaysians won’t be able to go overseas any time soon.

Businesses and Leisure

During RMCO, almost all social, religious, business, and educational activities are allowed to resume in stages—including hair and beauty salons and open markets (starting 15 June). In fact, operation hours for businesses are to resume as normal with adherence to strict standard operating procedures (SOP). The SOP for visiting markets and bazaars can be found here.

Filming and indoor busking will be permitted as well as visiting museums and creative outlets. Furthermore, the government has given the green light to Hari Raya Aidiladha celebrations and Qurban activities. However, organisers are required to enforce and follow SOPs. The Prime Minister also said that an announcement will be made regarding allowing more worshippers to join congregational prayers at mosques and surau.

Some things that are barred during RMCO are large gatherings, reflexology centres, karaoke centres, theme parks, and nightclubs. During RMCO, shops (including restaurants, convenience stores, and mamaks) will be allowed to open until 12am.


Although recreational activities and sports are allowed during RMCO, sports events, competitions, and contact sports are still prohibited. This includes hockey, football, boxing, wrestling, and rugby.

You are allowed to cycle and go for activities such as bowling, archery, and badminton. Gyms, sports complexes, and badminton halls will be able to operate starting 15 June 2020. When exercising, Malaysians need to practise social distancing of three to five metres.


The Education Ministry will make an announcement soon but schools will re-open in stages. Students have been on an extended school holiday since 14 March 2020.

Education Minister Mohd Radzi Md Jidin said that only Form Five and Form Six students will be involved in the re-opening of schools for now.

Home Quarantine

Malaysians returning from abroad no longer have to be quarantined at designated quarantine centres. They will be given a swab test upon landing and those who test positive will be sent to the hospital. As for Malaysians that test negative for COVID-19, they are required to quarantine at home for 14 days. The two-week period is mandatory.

According to Senior Minister (Security) Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob, “they are required to download the MySejahtera application and wear the quarantine wristbands for identification purposes. Their movements will be monitored through the MySejahtera application”.

The Recovery Movement Control Order (RMCO) is slated to run until 31 August 2020. The implementation of RMCO will be based on protection of risk groups, community responsibility empowerment, embracing the “New Normal”, re-opening of all sectors of the economy, border control, and enhanced public health. What are your thoughts on RMCO and where in Malaysia will you be going to? As we wait for more updates, stay safe and continue to practise social distancing.

For more information on CMCO, click here.

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