Social Activities Barred During MCO To Reduce COVID-19 Transmission

KUALA LUMPUR: Social activities involving mass gatherings such as weddings, conferences, religious parades including Thaipusam, meetings, seminars, courses and group sports are not allowed during the Movement Control Order (MCO) period.

Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said this was important to reduce the risk of infection and to break the COVID-19 chain.

“However, for Perlis and Sarawak, which are under the Recovery Movement Control Order (RMCO), social activities will be allowed, subject to strict standard operating procedure compliance,” he said in a special message broadcast live on local television stations.

Muhyiddin said interstate travel across the nation is also barred during the MCO, while for states under MCO, inter-district crossings will not be allowed as well. 

The prime minister said roadblocks will be mounted from 12.01 am onwards on Wednesday (Jan 13).  

“For states under MCO, movement will be restricted to a 10-kilometre radius, while only two household members will be allowed in the same car while out shopping for essentials. 

“Those who violate this ruling will be issued the RM1,000 maximum compound,” he said. 

 Muhyiddin also said the five sectors identified as essential economic sectors and allowed to operate are industrial and manufacturing, construction, services, trade and distribution, as well as plantations and commodities.

He said these sectors were allowed to operate as they provide a support network for the supply of basic necessities such as food, beverages, household items as well as personal care.

It also for the supply of personal protective equipment (PPE), medical devices and medicines for health workers and for international trade activities to ensure an uninterrupted supply chain and support for critical infrastructure and emergency work.

Muhyiddin said only 30 per cent of management-level employees were allowed to be in the office while for the support group, the number required at any one time would be determined by their respective employers.

“I would like to remind you that the number of employees determined must take into account strict compliance with the standard operating procedures (SOP) set. Make sure there is proper physical distancing in the workplace. 

“Strict action will be taken against employers who violate SOPs that cause COVID-19 to spread in the workplace, including closing the premises,” he said.

In this regard, the Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI) would list services identified as part of the essential economic sector, and will liaise with the Works Ministry to detail out the type of construction work allowed, he said. 

Muhyiddin said for sectors or services not listed as essential, work from home directives will take effect.

To reduce the risk of infection in the workplace, Muhyiddin said all employers must comply with the directive to reduce movement in the community, especially in high-density areas.

On eateries and hawker stalls, the prime minister said they are only allowed to operate on a take-away basis, while areas under the Conditional Movement Control Order (CMCO) and RMCO will be allowed to operate as usual with SOPs in place. 

As for supermarkets, health services such as clinics, hospitals and pharmacies, and banks, he said they will also be allowed to operate in areas placed under MCO, but with very strict SOPs. 

Muhyiddin said the Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Ministry (KPDNHEP) has given assurances that supply in all retail sectors is adequate.

“The monitoring of necessities such as sugar, cooking oil, wheat flour, rice, white bread, milk powder, chicken, vegetables, eggs, onions, hand sanitisers and face masks will be done every day,” he said.