PETALING JAYA: Retail shops and businesses warmed up to the conditional movement control order (MCO) by opening their doors “cautiously”.
Business activities were not yet at full swing as some enterprises were still ironing out the details of how to adhere to the guidelines issued by the authorities.
Malaysia Retail Chain Association (MRCA) president Datuk Seri Garry Chua said retail shops were still opening up in stages.
“It takes time to open up, especially since many have already previously sent out circulars that they will reopen after May 12.
“However, it is a good thing that the government loosened regulations before the MCO ends, because you are giving time for people and businesses to prepare.
“They need to ‘warm up’, such as mobilising people and reordering stock, preparing social distancing measures, and cleaning up the stores, ” he said.
Chua said the government should allow more leeway for retailers to implement guidelines, adding that it did not make sense that in Selangor people could not dine in, while they could do so in Kuala Lumpur.
SME Association of Malaysia president Datuk Michael Kang said the majority of SMEs would only start coming back to work later in the week.
He said this was because they were still in the midst of setting up the necessary procedures for their employees to return to work.
He said that more state governments should consider easing restrictions in order for the economy to grow.
Mydin hypermarket chain managing director Datuk Wira Ameer Ali Mydin said there were more people in the hypermarket the weekend before the economic sectors opened up.
He said that about 20% of the tenants at his malls have opened up, while the rest were still setting in place the necessary procedures before they re-opened.
“After not being open for about 40 days, they need to disinfect the stores. They will also have to display a sign of the maximum number of people allowed in the store, ” he said, adding that the rule was that there must only be one customer per 100sq ft of the store.
The management of Pavilion Kuala Lumpur said about 35% of their stores opened yesterday, while most remain closed to do the preparatory work needed to fulfil the government’s requirements.
“The number of visitors at the mall is still at a minimal level as the mall caters to the working and business community on weekdays, and most are not back to work as the MCO is not fully lifted until May 12, ” a spokesman said.
The spokesman added that visitors were subject to temperature screening and that regular checks are conducted by the mall’s safety and health team to ensure tenants’ compliance.
1 Utama Shopping Centre general manager (operations) Samantha Lee said the mall had put in place strict health and safety measures such as thermal scanning and disinfection.
“Retail outlets are progressively reopening their businesses in the mall, except for those in the categories that are not allowed by the government to be opened, ” she said.
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