Relaxed curbs are good news but don’t ignore SOP, say groups

PETALING JAYA: Relaxation in restrictions for fully vaccinated individuals under Phase Two of the National Recovery Plan will help economic recovery, say business groups.

SME Association of Malaysia president Datuk Michael Kang said as tourism within the same state was allowed under Phase Two, the spillover effects such as dine-ins and domestic travel for states would benefit the local economy.

“It will also be a good breather for people who have been cooped up indoors for so long. Although no interstate travel is allowed, a person in Perak can still go for a short getaway in Taiping. This is good for people’s mental health,” he said.

He added that awareness on the need to follow standard operating procedures (SOP) at all times must be observed, even for the fully vaccinated.

“We must recognise this as the new norm and know how to coexist with the virus,” he said, adding that he looked forward to the announcement of the relaxation of restrictions for the economy sector.

“If some states can already open up internally, there will be good news for the business sectors, too,” he said, urging all employers to send their workers for vaccination.

Associated Chinese Chambers of Commerce and Industry of Malaysia (ACCCIM) treasurer-general Koong Lin Loong said the relaxation would benefit some small businesses, which now had to do more policing to control its access to only those who were fully vaccinated.

“It can be challenging for businesses to control and monitor who they allow entry to. Businesses may have to change the way they operate in accordance with the current condition,” he said.

Koong warned that while it was good to gradually open up, there should be a clear list of what was allowed and disallowed in order to not confuse the people and the enforcers.

ACCCIM president Datuk Low Kian Chuan also called for all non-essential sectors in states under Phase One and Two to operate with a manpower capacity of at least 50%, subject to strict SOP.

“If fully vaccinated, people can be allowed to dine in. Consideration can then be given to allow non-essential sectors to operate,” he said.

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