PUTRAJAYA: After not operating for 28 days of the current movement control order, the remaining businesses in the retail sector are allowed to reopen beginning today – a much-needed lifeline for many.
Also allowed from today are restaurant dine-ins, but limited to two persons per table and with the physical distancing of at least 1m in place.
The 18 types of businesses in the retail sector which can resume operations include clothing, fashion and accessories shops, second-hand shops, photo studios, nurseries and florists, gifts and handicrafts, cosmetics, sports equipment and antique stores.
General procedures include the need to carry out disinfection three times a day during operating hours, making it mandatory for staff and customers to put on face masks, and encouraging electronic payments.
For clothing stores, disposable gloves are to be provided by operators for their customers.
Cosmetic shops are only allowed to sell make-up, skincare products and perfume. The use of testers is not allowed.
As for dining in, the SOP stipulates that restaurant owners must assign a staff member to control the entry and exit of customers, and to limit the number of diners at any one time.
Announcing the resumption of these sectors, Senior Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob said that since the MCO was enforced, many had been economically and financially affected, with some businesses having to wind up.
He noted the percentage of unemployment had also risen, where according to the Statistics Department, the figure rose to 4.8% or 772,900 people who were unemployed in December last year.
With the implementation of MCO 2.0, he said the government had foreseen the situation would be more worrying due to limited economic activities and restricted movement of people.
“The government also takes into account the number of people who are employed by the retail sector whose income is affected when the businesses are not in operation.
“With this justification, the National Security Council special meeting on Monday agreed to open the remaining retail sector for its economic survival, ” he said in his media briefing yesterday.
MCO 2.0, which has been in force since Jan 13, only allows essential businesses and their chain activities to operate. Last week, the government eased some conditions by allowing pasar malam, car wash outlets, barbers and hair salons to reopen for business.
Ismail Sabri said the latest approval was on the condition that there would be strict adherence to the SOP.
He warned that shops would be ordered to close immediately if Covid-19 cases were found on the premises.
“Compliance with the SOP is extremely important.
“With more people going out now that more businesses are open, the authorities will increase monitoring and enforcement. It is important that the public comply with the SOP.
“Please safeguard your own interest and the interest of all, ” said Ismail Sabri.