On Friday, Malaysian Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin announced that business operations can resume from May 4. The development partially eases lockdown restrictions that were imposed to contain the spread of the Wuhan coronavirus.
During a televised address, Muhyiddin said Malaysia is ready to roll out a gradual reopening of its economic activities.
Large gatherings, including religious activities, night clubs and cinemas halls will continue to be closed, he said. Schools and universities will also continue to remain closed.
Since March 18, Malaysia had closed all non-essential businesses activities and schools, and had banned public gatherings; it had also restricted travel.
“On the advice of the health ministry and based on data collected and best practices established by the World Health Organisation, the government has decided to reopen economic sectors cautiously by enforcing strict health standard operating procedures,” said Muhyiddin.
He went on to add, procedures introduced during the quarrantine such as wearing masks, practicing social distancing and maintaining high levels of personal hygiene, will continue.
Muhyiddin also encouraged employers to allow employees to work from home and for employees to come into the office on alternate days.
Sports activities that involve 10 or less people, such as running, badminton and cycling, will be allowed.
Restaurants have been allowed to reopen. Strict social distancing will have to be maintained, cautioned Muhyiddin.
Inter-state travel will not be allowed. The country has also not reopened its borders.
In April, Malaysia’s central bank had issued a warning saying its economy is likely to shrink by 2% due to the coronavirus pandemic, in what is likely to be its worst economic performance in more than a decade.