Businesses still need govt approval to operate during MCO, notes Ismail Sabri

PETALING JAYA: Just because a sector is included in the additional list of businesses allowed to operate during the movement control order (MCO) period, it does not mean they can automatically reopen, says Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob.

These businesses, including barbershops and hair salons, must still obtain permission from the government, said the Senior Minister.

He added that despite some industries, including non-essential services and products, being listed, it does not mean they would automatically be allowed to operate.

“As I mentioned previously, the International Trade and Industry Ministry will be scrutinising all views given. It is not automatic, and I was made to understand there are application processes.

“The final decision lies with the ministry, ” he told a press conference on Sunday (April 12).

Ismail was asked whether the government would automatically allow the operation of barbershops and hair salons despite protests from those within the industry.

The MCO was extended on Friday (April 10) for the third time to April 28, as announced by Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin.

Ismail said that the proposal of the operation was to allow those within "green zone areas" or districts listed by the Health Ministry.

“However, the details and the standard operating procedures will be issued by the International Trade and Industry Ministry, ” he added.

There are currently only 29 districts that are green zones or districts where there are no reported Covid-19 cases, including just four districts in the whole of Peninsular Malaysia.

In Kuala Lumpur, for instance, all four health districts are red zones, while all such districts in the most-affected state of Selangor are red zones except for the orange zones of Kuala Selangor and Kuala Langat.

The bulk of the green zones are in Sabah and Sarawak, with eight districts and 17 districts there, respectively, that have yet to record any Covid-19 cases.

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