PUTRAJAYA: The government will now allow optometrists to operate during the movement control order with a more stringent standard operating procedure (SOP) in place, says Senior Minister (Security) Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob.
He said the Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Ministry allowed this after it was satisfied with the proposed SOP presented by stakeholders.
"The Association of Malaysian Optometrists (AMO) had appealed to the government and presented a stricter SOP.
"The ministry has agreed to allow these businesses to operate provided all conditions are followed. If they are caught not complying with the SOP, these business premises will be closed," he said on Friday (Jan 15).
AMO president Ahmad Fadhullah Fuzal had appealed to the government to allow private optometrists and optical shops to reopen.
The Malaysian Association of Practising Opticians had also made a similar call, saying that 30% of the people need spectacles, including Covid-19 frontliners.
On another matter, Ismail Sabri said hair salons and barbers would have to wait a while to learn if they can resume operations.
"We will review this in two weeks," he said, adding that these businesses were among the last given approval by the government to reopen during the MCO last year.
"We need to look into this carefully because these businesses involve physical contact. There is no way you can get a haircut without the hairdresser touching you," he said.
Ismail Sabri also said teachers should not penalise students who returned to school with long hair.