Several districts in Malaysia are facing stricter restrictions amid a surge in cases BY Nurhuda Syed 06 May 2021 Share In a sudden turn of events, Malaysia’s government yesterday (May 5) decided to retighten restrictions in several parts of the country, including Kuala Lumpur and Johor Bahru. Both cities will be placed under a new movement control order (MCO) from May 7 to 20 – much longer than the initial clampdown planned for the state of Selangor. The government had Tuesday announced a ban on social activities in six districts surrounding KL due to a local surge in COVID-19. This was meant to last till May 17. Economic activities such as shopping will be allowed however, though with restrictions and standard operating procedures (SOPs) in place, Senior Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob said during a press conference. The government will soon announce directives for work-from-home arrangements. Under the latest MCO, residents are only allowed to move about in the areas for the purpose of buying daily necessities, medical services and official government work. Social events such as weddings, reunions and retreats are prohibited. Crossing districts and state borders are not allowed without permission from the police. Sports and recreational activities can only be carried out for exercise and health, and not for entertainment purposes. READ MORE: Singapore forced back into ‘phase 2’ of COVID The six districts in the state of Selangor, namely Hulu Langat, Petaling, Gombak, Klang, Kuala Langat and Sepang, will be put under the latest Movement Control Order (MCO). MCO protocols will also be enforced in other parts of the country, such as Kelantan and five districts in the state of Kedah, reported The Edge. Businesses that will be allowed to operate under MCO 3.0 include: Grocery stores and shops selling daily necessities can operate between 6am and 10pm Petrol stations can operate between 6am and 10pm F&B shops can open between 6am and midnight Both daily and night markets can run from 6am onwards Ramadan bazaars will continue to operate in line with strict SOPs, but Datuk Ismail warned that the authorities can shutdown activities if need be. Most Read Are your workers worried about vaccine safety? What will the post-pandemic office look like? Ikea France fined $1.2M for snooping on staff READ MORE: Eid 2021: Will Malaysia ban interstate travel? Hari Raya restrictions The latest MCO will thus affect the first few days of Hari Raya Aidilfitri. However, all is not lost for residents celebrating the major holiday as Datuk Ismail shared what can and can’t be done. Raya visiting Allowed only on the first day (May 13) in MCO areas, with a cap of 15 people at any one time and depending on the size of the house, reported Malay Mail. Visiting will be allowed be for the first three days in CMCO and RMCO areas, with a cap of 20 people and 25 people accordingly. No visiting allowed for EMCO areas. “This is also dependent on the size of the house and requires everyone to be socially distanced,” the minister said. He encouraged hosts to take visitors’ temperatures and keep a logbook of visitors in case of the need for contract tracing. Despite this, Hari Raya ‘open house’ events are strictly prohibited nationwide. Aidilfitri morning prayers Prayers are allowed in all areas except those under EMCO, or enhanced measures. The individual states will determine safety protocols like the maximum number of worshippers allowed at mosques. However, feasting is not allowed after the prayer session. Visiting of graves Visits allowed for areas under CMCO and RMCO with a limit of six visitors per gravesite. Visits are capped at 30minutes. Malaysia has been seeing a surge in COVID-19 with daily highs of over 3,000 confirmed cases across the nation. Vaccination progress has also been relatively slow due to the sheer size of the country. You've reached your limit - Register for free now for unlimited access To read the full story, just register for free now - GET STARTED HERE Already subscribed? Log in below LOGIN Remember me Forgot password? Related stories Holiday blues: How to support staff separated from family overseas Are you ready to embrace remote work?