Local authorities to come up with strategy for market reopening

Traders in Jalan Beladau 29 morning market in Taman Puteri Wangsa, Johor Baru. All morning and night markets have been closed since March 18. — Filepic

JOHOR BARU: After a near three-month closure, morning and night markets will be allowed to resume operations in stages starting June 15.

State housing and local government committee chairman Ayub Jamil, however, stressed that permission to restart operations would only be given after local authorities ensured all traders and visitors complied with Health Ministry’s standard operating procedures (SOPs) to prevent Covid-19 infections.

He said a meeting would be held with all mayors and local council presidents to come up with a plan to reopen all such markets in stages, including the measures that needed to be taken.

“Before the movement control order (MCO) was imposed on March 18, Johor had 4,409 traders at the morning market in 53 locations, and 23,184 traders at night markets in 194 locations,” he said in a statement.

Ayub said the numbers were expected to be lower when the markets reopen fully in two weeks.

He said local councils would be responsible for coordinating the process of reopening and making sure all SOPs were followed as it would make it easier for the authorities to conduct enforcement and surveillance.

“The morning and night markets must adhere to social distancing practices, with stalls being 1.5m to 2m apart from one another.

“The markets have to be located in a spacious area and fenced up to control crowd movement in and out of the site,” he added.

Ayub, however, stressed the operation hours of the markets would be determined by the respective local councils.

The Rengit assemblyman said all visitors would be required to undergo body temperature checks before entering the market area and must wear face masks.

“The traders themselves are required to do the same, aside from wearing gloves.

“They are also required to register with the MySejahtera and Jejak Johor applications to make it easier for Health Ministry to do contact tracing,” he said.

Ayub said traders and visitors should apply the new norm when frequenting night and morning markets, which should not be congested, cramped or end up as a social gathering place.

“The local councils will immediately take action against traders who fail to comply with the SOP and shut down the market if the situation is out of control,” he added.
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