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

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

The next chapter

Text: Ronn Tan


Image: Getty Images

Announced by Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin during a live telecast, the RMCO will give way to a plethora of new relaxation measures

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. 

Sports

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.

Schools

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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