KUALA LUMPUR – Malaysia will lift movement restrictions in most countries from next Monday (December 7th), the government minister announced on Saturday.
But the partial closures, dubbed the Conditional Motion Control Order (CMCO), will be extended until December 20 for its capital Kuala Lumpur, Sabah State and six of the nine Selangor districts.
Parts of the Negeri Sembilan and Johor states will also remain under the CMCO, said Senior Minister (Security Cluster) Ismail Sabri Jakob.
He said that interstate travel would be allowed from Monday and all roadblocks would be removed.
Only areas under complete blockade, called Improved MCOs (EMCOs) – such as those around Top Glove factories and dormitories – will be banned.
The areas under EMCO have barbed wire installed around them to quarantine residents and allow health professionals to perform health examinations.
Most Malaysian states, along with the federal territories of KL, Putraya and Labuan, have been placed under the CMCO since October as the country battles its third wave of coronavirus infections.
The curbs of Putraya and Labuan have been erected.
Mr Ismail said in a televised address that the widespread curbs had a huge economic tax.
“Yesterday (December 4) I read on social media that many are asking what will happen tomorrow, because the CMCO is expected to end,” he said.
“The government understands how difficult the situation can be. Whether we like it or not, we must move on with our lives.
“We will lose 30,000 million RM (98.6 million USD) a day if CMCO continues … there will be more job losses and so on. “Therefore, we need to be careful when caring for people, and also the economy.”
According to the CMCO, while most economic activities were allowed to continue, only three people per household were allowed to leave their homes. Interstate travel was prohibited, except for work and emergencies.
Schools and entertainment shops were closed during the CMCO, while the opening hours of restaurants, various shops and in-store shops were limited to 6 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Selangor and Kuala Lumpur have been under CMKO since October 14 as cases of Covid-19 increased, in part due to infections at Top Glove, the world’s largest maker of latex bracelets, and at two KL construction sites.
Sabah and Labuan have been placed under similar orders since October 13 and October 17.
The CMCO of Perak, Penang and Negeri Sembilan was handed down on November 9, while that of Kelantan on November 21.
Malaysia reported 1,123 new Covid-19 cases on Saturday, bringing the total to 71,359.
The death toll stands at 380, with four new deaths added.