Malaysia extends movement restrictions till June 9

KUALA LUMPUR (XINHUA) – Malaysia will continue imposing the movement restricting measures to contain the COVID-19 outbreak till June 9, Malaysian Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin said yesterday.

In a televised speech, Muhyiddin said the decision was made to allow economic activity while keeping the outbreak in the country under control.

He said the decision to ease some of the restrictions on most economic activities from May 4 under the “Conditional Movement Control Order” has been conducted in a smooth and orderly manner in the past week.

“Many among us have started to work. Until today an estimated 6.64 million or 43.6 per cent of the workforce have returned to work. I expect this number to increase in the coming weeks,” he said.

Muhyiddin said the government’s measures, including the implementation of Movement Control Order since March 18, had achieved success with 94.4 per cent of districts having been categorised as green zones where no active cases have been recorded for two weeks.

However, he cautioned against celebrating too soon and warned about the risks after the easing of restrictions and the reopening of economy.

He called on businesses and citizens to follow the government’s standard of operations (SOP) as well as paying attention to personal hygiene.

“I appeal to everyone to abide by the SOP. It’s not difficult. Avoid crowded places, ensure social distancing, wear masks, sanitise and wash your hands, and go out only when necessary,” he said.

Malaysia first implemented the restrictions on March 18 before relaxing it from May 4. But activities involving mass gatherings or those that would increase the risks of infections are still not allowed.

Prime Minister Muhyiddin stressed that interstate travel is still banned, including returning to hometown to celebrate Aidilfitri later in the month, but couples who are working in separate states would be allowed to travel across state borders.