KUALA LUMPUR: Ramadan and Aidilfitri bazaars in Kuala Lumpur will be allowed to operate with limited hours throughout the movement control order, which begins today until May 20, says Federal Territories Minister Tan Sri Annuar Musa.
He said Ramadan bazaars could operate from 3pm to 8pm, while Aidilfitri bazaars can operate from 10am to 10pm.
He said the authorities need to step up crowd control as it was nearing the final week before Hari Raya, the peak shopping period.
“To ensure distancing, a queue card number system with the ratio of three people per stall has been proposed. If there are 50 stalls at a location, 150 people could be allowed inside the bazaar at a time.
“Visitors should only spend between 30 and 45 minutes at the bazaar. Do not go window shopping. Make quick purchases and leave as soon as possible. Do not bring young children and babies, ” he said yesterday.
Annuar, who is the Federal Territories Crisis Management Centre chairman, said there were requests from traders at Aidilfitri bazaars to extend business hours until 2am because of the trend of customers shopping after the terawih prayers.
“We cannot allow that because there will be a concentration of people at the bazaars after the prayers.
“Despite having standard operating procedure in place, compliance level is still low.
“Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) will close any bazaar if it does not comply with the SOP for three days, ” he said, adding that reopening would be allowed if the SOP were in place.
He also said restaurants, food stalls, food trucks, roadside stalls, mobile food traders, food courts, and food kiosks were allowed to operate between 6am and midnight during Ramadan, adding that the longer hours were to accommodate Muslims traders, who open for business later in the day.
“Food sales can be done by takeaway, drive-thru and delivery only. We cannot allow dine-in because restaurants were one of the places where the Covid-19 infections occurred, ” he added.
Annuar also said selected economic activities, food and health sectors, as well as official government duties were allowed during the MCO, while social activities such as events, visits and open houses were not allowed.
He said the decision to put Kuala Lumpur under MCO was vital because data showed the possibility of a spike in the number of Covid-19 cases, as a lot of movement was expected before and after Hari Raya.In Johor Baru, the state government will continue allowing Ramadan and Aidilfitri bazaars to operate within the three movement control order districts.
State Housing and Local Government Committee chairman chairman Ayub Jamil, however, said there would be changes in the operating hours for the two bazaars.
“For Johor Baru, Kulai and Kota Tinggi districts, which are under MCO, the operating hours for Ramadan bazaars are from 3pm to 8pm with stricter SOP in place.
“The operating hours for Aidilfitri bazaars within the three districts is between 10am and 10pm, ” he said.
For districts under the recovery MCO, the operating hours for Ramadan bazaars was also between 3pm and 8pm while for Aidilfitri bazaars, the operating hours starts from 10am until midnight.
On Wednesday, authorities placed the entire Kuala Lumpur and several localities in Johor, Perak, and Terengganu under MCO for 14 days beginning today until May 20.
This comes after six districts in Selangor went under MCO beginning on Thursday until May 17.
MCO would be enforced in Johor Baru, Kulai and Kota Tinggi, which have been categorised as red zones with more than 150 cases reported while the capacity in hospitals and intensive care units reached above 70%.