National Recovery Plan/MCO 2021: Phase One SOPs and updates (August 2021)


By Adelina Tan

National Recovery Plan/MCO 2021: Phase One SOPs and updates (August 2021)

Update on 15 August 2021: The government has allowed an additional 11 economy sectors in Phase One to resume operations starting 16 August. These SOP relaxations are subject to the conditions and SOPs provided, including that customers must be fully vaccinated. The 11 types of business which are allowed to reopen include:

  • Car wash
  • Electrical and electronics
  • Household goods and kitchen utensils
  • Furniture
  • Sports equipment
  • Car accessories
  • Car distribution and sales
  • Morning markets and pasar tani
  • Clothing and fashion accessories
  • Jewellery
  • Barbers and beauty salons (for basic barber services only)

Additionally, 11 more types of retail shops in Phase Two have been given the green light to resume operations, including businesses involved in photography equipment and services, used items, flowers and nurseries, handicraft and souvenirs, antiques, toys, carpets, creative content and equipment, outdoor equipment, cosmetics, skin care, perfume, as well as tobacco and vape outlets.

The manufacturing, construction, and mining and quarrying industries can also resume operations in all Phase One, Phase Two, and Phase Three states.

Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin warned that any failure by business owners to adhere to health SOPs would result not only in fines but also a closure order.

“As workers, the power is in your hands, and any employee who does not comply with SOPs and who violates the Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases Act 1988 can be compounded and brought to court,” he said. He added that more than 900 premises had been ordered to close over their failure to adhere to SOPs within two weeks.

“This is proof that the government is very firm against anyone breaking the rules.”

This decision comes after the government’s move to relax some SOPs for those who are fully vaccinated against Covid-19 in Phase One and Phase Two states of the National Recovery Plan.

For more EMCO SOPs and a list of affected areas/districts in Kuala Lumpur and Selangor, click here.

Updated on 28 June

The current FMCO, now known as Phase One of the National Recovery Plan (PPN), has been extended until further notice. Malaysia will enter phase two, with fewer restrictions (such as allowing car wash facilities to operate and salons to open for hair cuts), when the country records fewer than 4,000 Covid-19 cases.

In Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin’s words: “I want to say that from now on we don’t call it MCO, but we say we are in a particular phase and now we are in phase one (of PPN) until July, maybe middle of the month or so.”

In related news, eateries can now open for takeaway and delivery from 6am to 10pm starting today. Previously, they had to close by 8pm or risk incurring an RM10,000 fine. Senior Minister (Security Cluster) Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob said the FMCO operating hours for eateries were relaxed upon taking into consideration the views of the people.

Last week, Vicneswara Thenamirtham, the owner of Rata Restaurant in Subang Jaya, went viral after posting an IGTV video about the plight of local eateries during this FMCO. Rata had been issued an RM10,000 compound after being unable to close its premises by 8pm due to a flurry of last-minute orders.


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Updated on 11 June

Like the ABBA song, it’s here we go again with an extension of this year’s full lockdown first implemented on 1 June. The announcement on the two-week extension, till 28 June, was announced today by Senior Minister (Security Cluster) Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob.

He said the decision was made during a National Security Council (NSC) special meeting chaired by Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, based on a recommendation by the Ministry of Health. Although the number of new cases have fallen below 8,000 a day, the daily total is still high at above 5,000 cases a day.

As of now, all SOPS and sectors allowed to operate remain the same as before—scroll down for a refresher on the FMCO must-knows.


Updated on 1 June

On the evening of Friday, 28 May, the office of Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin announced the implementation of a total lockdown across Malaysia from 1 June to 14 June. The decision was made to curb the spread of Covid-19 in Malaysia, with the number of daily new infections recently surpassing 8,000. New and more virulent variants, with higher fatality rates, have also raised red flags and put the country’s healthcare under strain.

This lockdown is considered to be “Phase One”. Should Malaysia’s Covid-19 situation improve after 14 June, the government will consider implementing “Phase Two”—whereby some economic sectors will be allowed to operate again, provided physical distancing is possible and no large gatherings are involved.

The full list of economic and service sectors allowed to operate during the total lockdown in June was announced in a live broadcast by the government this evening.


For easy reference, we’ve translated the list and simplified it to highlight must-know SOPs that are relevant to the general public.

READ: Do pulse oximeters actually detect if you have Covid-19 and should you get one?

SOPs for total lockdown

Movement control:

  • Purchase of essential items: Only 2 people per household allowed in one vehicle (including the driver) within 10km radius from home
  • To get assistance for health, medical, security or emergency purposes: Only 3 people per household allowed in one vehicle (including driver) within 10km radius from home or to the nearest facility from home
  • Taxi and e-hailing: 2 passengers (including driver) per vehicle
  • Vaccination: Travel to and from the designated vaccination center is allowed with proof of vaccination date

Not allowed:

  • Children under 12 years old are not allowed to be present in any public premises or facilities—such as shopping malls, convenience stores and F&B outlets—except for emergency, medical treatment, education (sitting for international-level exams) and exercising purposes.
  • Interstate and inter-district travel except for emergency purposes—all interstate and inter-district travel letters from the Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI) expire on 31st May, Monday. New applications have to be resubmitted through the Covid-19 Intelligent Management System (CIMS) 3.0 portal coordinated by MITI and involving all ministries that supervise the 17 essential services sectors that have been allowed to operate.

Sports and recreation:

  • Limited to jogging and non-contact sports in open areas, with physical distancing of 2 to 3 metres, from 7am to 8pm within the neighbourhood

Religious activities and marriage registration/solemnisation:

  • Prayers at a mosque or surau: Limited to 12 committee members and adherence to SOPs
  • Marriage solemnisation (Islam): Only allowed at the Islamic Religious Department with adherence to SOPs
  • Funeral/burial rites (Islam): Allowed according to SOPs set by the religious department
  • Prayers at houses of worship (non-Islam): Limited to 12 committee members and adherence to SOPs
  • Funeral/burial rites (non-Islam): Allowed according to SOPs by the National Unity and Integration Department
  • Marriage registration (non-Islam) at JPN, houses of worship and religious associations: Allowed according to SOPs set by JPN

READ: Getting vaccinated? Here’s how to manage the side effects and ease your discomfort

Only these 17 essential services are allowed to operate from 1 to 14 June:

1. Food and beverages—including for animals

2. Health and medical care—including dietary supplements, animal care and clinics as well as veterinary services

3. Water

4. Energy

5. Security and safety, defence, emergency, welfare and humanitarian assistance

6. Solid waste management, public cleaning and sewerage

7. Transportation by land, water or air

8. Services and operations of ports, shipyards and airports—including loading, lattice transportation, cargo handling and piloting, and storage of bulk commodity

9. Communications—including media, telecommunications and Internet, post and courier as well as broadcasting (for purpose of conveying information, news and the like only)

10. Banking, insurance, Takaful and capital markets

11. Community credit—limited to mortgage services

12. E-commerce and information technology

13. Production, distillation, storage, supply and distribution of fuels and lubricants

14. Hotels and accommodation—limited to quarantine and isolation purposes, not tourism

15. Critical construction, maintenance and repairs

16. Forestry services and wildlife—limited to enforcement

17. Logistics—limited to the delivery of necessary services

Businesses in these 17 sectors must get written permission to operate from 1 June to 14 June through MITI’s Covid-19 Intelligent Management System (CIMS) 3.0 portal.

Public sector workforce (limited to essential services)

  • Limited to frontliners, security, defense, and enforcement
  • Not more than 20 percent of the workforce at any time

Private sector workforce (limited to essential services)

  • Not more than 60 percent of the workforce, including operations and management staff

Shops allowed to operate and opening hours:

Commercial businesses and services (8am to 10pm)

  • F&B outlets, food trucks, roadside stalls, drive-through establishments (dine-in and in-car services are not allowed)

Commercial businesses and services (8am to 8pm)

  • Mini markets, convenience stores, and hardware stores
  • Shopping malls are closed except for supermarkets, hypermarkets, the F&B and essential items section of departmental stores, pharmacies, personal care stores, convenience stores, mini markets, and F&B outlets
  • Vets and pet food stores
  • Laundry and dry cleaning services (including self-service laundrettes)
  • Optical shops
  • Automotive workshops, auto parts stores
  • Wholesalers and distributors


  • Morning markets (6am to 2pm)
  • PTK, MFO and PPK (6am to 4pm)
  • PST (7am to 12pm)
  • Wholesale markets (12.01am to 6am & 11am to 4pm)

* Night markets are not allowed to operate

Petrol stations

  • Regular petrol stations (6am to 8pm)
  • Petrol stations at highways with tolls (24 hours)

Medical services

  • Hospitals, clinics and medical laboratories (24 hours or according to business license)

* Primary and secondary schools are to remain closed, with teaching taking place online

* Daycare/childcare centers, kindergartens and child enrichment centres are not allowed to open unless for children with both parents working as front liners or in essential sectors

Do stay home, stay vigilant, practise the recommended safety and social distancing measures, and get vaccinated when possible. We’re all in this together and it’ll take all of us to maximise the impact of this lockdown.

For more Covid-19 news and updates, click here.

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