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Conditional MCO: Permitted and Prohibited Activities – 10 Key Questions (as of 22 October 2020)

As the third wave of COVID-19 infection spreads across Malaysia approximately four months after the implementation of the Recovery Movement Control Order (RMCO), the Government has decided to impose the Conditional Movement Control Order (CMCO) in the Federal Territory of Kuala Lumpur, Selangor and the Federal Territory of Putrajaya commencing from 14 October 2020 up to 27 October 2020, barring any extension.

This alert sets out the activities which are currently permitted and prohibited in areas placed under the CMCO.

Q1. Can you travel across district/state borders?

Any inter-district or inter-state travel is banned, except for emergencies – such as death and medical reasons. Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob has clarified that the whole Federal Territory of Kuala Lumpur is considered as one district and Putrajaya as another. As an illustration, residents from Cheras may travel freely to Bukit Bintang, as both locations are within the district of Kuala Lumpur.

As for residents in states not covered under the CMCO who are seeking to pass through Selangor, Kuala Lumpur and Putrajaya to travel to other states, prior permission4 from the Royal Malaysian Police (RMP) must be obtained from the nearest police stations.

Q2. Can you travel to work?

Employers must comply with the standard operating procedures (SOP) issued by the National Security Council (NSC) and are encouraged to allow their employees to perform duties which can be carried out remotely from home.

The Ministry Of International Trade And Industry (MITI) had announced that commencing 22 October 2020, for industries in areas placed under CMCO, it is mandatory for managerial and supervisory-level employees who carry out tasks relating to accounting, finance, administration, law, planning and ICT to work from home. However, a maximum of 10% of the total number of such managerial and supervisory-level employees are allowed to be in the office from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm for 3 days a week.

It is to be noted that employees working in the informal sectors (such as the retail, food, plantation, agriculture, hawkers, food stalls, restaurants, food courts, grocery stores, and convenience stores) and the public transportation services are not subject to the work from home directive, and are allowed to operate as usual.

Employees are permitted to travel across district borders for work with a valid work pass or letter of approval from their employers. In any event, Malaysians must bear in mind that prior permission from the police must be obtained if more than 2 persons are travelling in a vehicle.

Q3. Can you dine-in at restaurants, hawker centres and eateries?

Although dining-in at restaurants, hawker centres and eateries are permitted, all persons governed by the CMCO are encouraged to purchase their meals via drive-through, delivery or take-away instead. Persons who opt to dine-in must adhere to the SOP imposed, namely – ensuring that dining tables at least 2 metres apart, a maximum of up to 4 persons are seated per table ( each to be seated at least 1 metre apart), screened for body temperature before entering the premises and recording the time of visit, along with their names, contact numbers and body temperature.

Restaurants, hawker centres, food truck, and eateries are allowed to operate from 6:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m., whereas food delivery services can operate from 6:00 a.m. to 12:00 a.m. during the period for which the CMCO is in place.

Q4. Can you participate in sporting activities?

Generally, members of the public can participate in any sporting or recreational activities which do not involve physical touching and which are done in small groups not exceeding 10 persons, such as jogging, cycling, hiking, fishing, and any other sports which can be carried out in open spaces.

With effect from 19 October 2020, commercial football fields, gymnasiums, futsal courts and badminton courts are allowed to operate between 6:00 a.m. and 10:00 p.m., provided that users of the futsal and football courts are limited to not more than 10 persons at any given time. However, sporting events and tournaments with spectators in attendance and indoor sporting activities including swimming and combat sports are prohibited.

Q5. Can you leave home to purchase food, basic necessities and essentials?

A maximum of 2 persons per household are permitted to leave home for the purposes of purchasing food, basic necessities, medication, and other essentials. Individuals who are at a higher risk of contracting the coronavirus and children are advised not to go out to public and congested places.

Q6. Can public transport providers stay in operation?

Public transportation services such as buses, LRT, MRT, ERL, Monorail, taxi, and e-hailing services are allowed to operate as usual.

Q7. Can taxi or grab drivers carry passengers?

Drivers of taxis or other e-hailing services are permitted to carry not more than 2 passengers in each of their vehicles for each trip.

Q8. Can you gather for the purpose of performing prayers at places of worship?

All religious activities in mosques, surau and other non-Islamic houses of worship are not permitted.

Nevertheless, for the purpose of imarah (to enliven the mosques), the azan (call to prayer) for each prayer time will be allowed, provided that it is limited to 6 members of the congregation, including the imam and the muazzin. Similarly, for places of worship for non- Muslims, only a maximum of 6 persons are allowed to be on duty at any given time.

Q9. What are the other activities that are prohibited during the CMCO?

Based on directive issued by the NSC, the following activities are prohibited or not recommended throughout the period for which the CMCO is in force:-

(a) Activities in entertainment centres such as pubs, night clubs, theme parks, indoor playgrounds and cinemas are prohibited;

(b) All seminars, workshops, courses, trainings, conferences, lectures, exhibitions, and activities related to Meetings, Incentives, Conventions and Exhibitions (MICE) are not allowed. Internal training for businesses can only be conducted within the compounds of such training institutions;

(c) Face-to-face meetings are not recommended and it is advised for meeting to be held by way of video conference;

(d) Official and unofficial government and private ceremonies, such as wedding and engagement ceremonies, aqiqah ceremony, anniversary celebration, birthday celebration, and any other social events are not allowed;

(e) Tourism activities in and out of the CMCO areas are banned, so are outbound tour activities by local citizen and inbound tour activities involving foreign tourist entering Malaysia except for foreign tourists for countries specified by the Minister;

(f) Educational institutions such as public universities (IPTA) and private institutions of higher learning (IPTS), Skills Training Institutions, schools, kindergartens, nurseries, tahfiz centres and childcare centres shall be temporarily closed. Despite students from schools, IPTA, and IPTS who are sitting for tests or examinations with overseas institutions are permitted to attend the examination, they are not allowed to attend physical classes in preparation for the examinations; and

(g) Any other activities with can cause a crowd to gather thereby making it difficult to carry out social distancing and to comply with the directions of the Director General are not allowed.

Q10. What are the consequences in the event an offence is committed?

Any person who contravenes any of the abovementioned directives commits an offence and shall, on conviction, be liable to a fine not exceeding RM1,000 or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 6 months or to both.

Conclusion Due to the spike in COVID-19 cases, the NSC is currently reviewing a proposal to place Selangor under a total lockdown or enhanced movement control order (EMCO). As the Government is striving to maintain a balance between reviving the country’s economy and protecting the citizens from the coronavirus infection, the Rakyat is advised to continue abiding by the rules and directives imposed pursuant to the CMCO to mitigate the risk of COVID-19 transmission within the community.

October 23, 2020

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