Employees are allowed to travel to from RMCO to MCO or CMCO areas for work, subject to prevailing conditions; at the same time, MICE-related activities can now take place in accordance to the capacity of the premises.

Malaysia's National Security Council (MKN) has released a set of SOPs that will apply during the ongoing Recovery Movement Control Order (RMCO, or PKPP), updated as of 18 March 2021 (Thursday).

These SOPs include details on cross-state and cross-district travels, hours of operation for essential businesses, activities that are prohibited during the enforcement period, and more, and will apply from 19 March to 31 March 2021. Excerpts below.

SOPs to note during the RMCO

Applicable to:

Perlis, Melaka, Pahang, Terengganu, Putrajaya, Labuan, Perak, Sabah (Except Nabawan District), Negeri Sembilan (Except District Seremban) and Kedah (Except Kuala Muda District and Kulim District).

*for Sabah, refer to specific state SOPs here.

Guidelines for employee movement, sector activities, MICE, and meetings

Employee movement: Movement in/out of RMCO/PKPPs area to MCO/PKP and CMCO/PKPB areas is allowed, subject to the employer's confirmation letter/employee pass, or operating approval letter/business license from the local authority (for the self-employed).

However, movement in/out of PKPP areas to EMCO/PKPD areas is not allowed.

Economic and industrial activities: Economic and industrial sector activities in the RMCO/PKPP areas are to be carried out as prescribed by the Government, in compliance with the relevant SOPs.

All industrial, business and manufacturing related vehicles are allowed to operate.

Tourism and cultural activities: The following domestic tourism activities are allowed in compliance with physical distancing, mandatory wearing of face masks, and based on relevant SOPs:

  • Public tourist attraction products such as zoos, farms, aquariums, edutainment centres, recreational parks, extreme/adventure/nature parks, and others;
  • Premises of art, culture and heritage such as museums, libraries, art galleries, cultural heritage art centres/villages, cultural performance stages, and others;
  • Theme parks and family entertainment centres;

Other tourism and cultural activities apart from those in the the Negative List, must follow the existing Tourism and Culture SOPs which are currently in force.

MICE: Seminars/workshops/courses/trainings/conferences/talks/meetings/trade fairs and related activities, as well as Meetings, Incentives, Conventions And Exhibitions (MICE) are allowed to operate according to the size of the premises. 

Physical distancing, mandatory wearing of face masks, and compliance with the relevant MICE SOPs are required.

The admission of business travellers for business affairs/events, from countries authorised by the Government, must adopt the existing MIDA One-Stop Center platform by complying with the entry requirements set by the Government.

Meetings: Face-to-face meetings of Government and private agencies in offices, hotels, convention centres and more are allowed, with physical distancing and wearing of face masks.

Creative industry: Sectors and activities in the creative industry are allowed to operate, in compliance with the industry SOPs. All types of events/shows/live performances covering official Government programmes/music arts/dance arts/theatre arts/musical arts/comedy/cultural & heritage performances/livestreaming are allowed, with an audience according to the size of the premises, and in compliance with physical distancing measures.

Live events are allowed at locations and event spaces such as convention centres, exhibition galleries, trade centres, art premises and other MICE premises, including multi-purpose halls, community halls, places of worship and other related locations.

Performances in hotel lounges are permitted, with an audience size according to the size of the premises, in compliance with physical distancing measures

Total management, artists and crew can operate at the normal capacity.

Other permitted activities in this industry:

  • Creative content development activities including music production, animation and filming of films, dramas, documentaries and television programmes made inside and outside the studio.
  • 'Busking' activities in building premises such as cafeterias, food courts, eateries and shopping malls.
  • Cinema and drive-in cinema activities.

Movement within/across districts and states

Movement within the RMCO/PKPP area is permitted. However, movement to other RMCO/PKPP areas, MCO/PKP, CMCO/PKPB and EMCO/PKPD areas is not allowed, except with the Royal Malaysia Police's (PDRM) permission.

The number of passengers allowed in a private vehicle is according to the capacity of the vehicle, but high-risk individuals and children are discouraged from going out into public, open and crowded areas.

The number of persons allowed in vehicles carrying necessary goods and services, as well as the chain of economic/industrial activities, depends on the commercial vehicle registration license.

The movement of private vehicles, Government departments or private companies for the purpose of going to and from work or carrying out official Government business depends on the seating capacity of the vehicle.

Activities and services at all airports and ports are allowed. Similarly, public transport services such as stop buses, express buses, LRT/ MRT/ ERL/monorails, ferries, planes, taxis/e-hailing services and other public transport services are allowed to operate (according to license conditions), based on vehicle capacity.

Cross-state permits are allowed for long-distance married couples, with the permission of PDRM.

Bubbles: Cross-state tourism bubble activities between RMCO/PKPP states to other RMCO/PKPP states are allowed, with travel packages purchased through travel companies that are legally licensed and registered with the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture Malaysia (MOTAC). This does not apply to the state of Sabah.

However, private movement is not permitted - instead, tourist movement must only be done using tourist vehicles registered with MOTAC. Travel agencies would need to obtain permission from the PDRM for cross-state movement.

Travel must be carried out directly to a RMCO/PKPP state and there should be no stopping in any CMCO/PKPB state.

Movement from CMCO/PKPB states to RMCO/PKPP states is not allowed.

Movement control in Sabah: Cross -border activities are allowed according to designated zones except for districts under the MCO/PKP.

Division of District Zones:

  • Zone 1: Kota Kinabalu, Kota Belud, Ranau, Tuaran, Penampang, Putatan and Papar
  • Zone 2: Beaufort, Kuala Penyu and Sipitang
  • Zone 3: Kudat, Kota Marudu and Pitas
  • Zone 4: Sandakan, Beluran, Telupid, Kinabatangan and Tongod
  • Zone 5: Tawau, Semporna, Lahad Datu, Kunak and Kalabakan
  • Zone 6: Keningau, Tambunan and Tenom. 

Cross-district movement is only allowed within the zone, and movement between zones is not allowed except with the permission of PDRM.

Permitted and non-permitted activities

Permitted activities

Clinics, Government and private hospitals, and medical laboratories are allowed to operate on a 24-hour basis or in accordance with the operating license. At the same time, pharmacies and shops selling medicines can operate under license conditions.

Businesses, the economy and industry are allowed to operate as determined by the Government.

  • Supermarkets, shopping malls and retail stores are allowed to operate in accordance with the SOPs, operating hours are according to the license/permit approved by the ministry/agency/local authority.
  • Restaurants, shops/food stalls, food trucks, roadside hawkers, street hawkers, food courts/hawker centres, roadside food stalls/kiosks, grocery stores and convenience stores are also allowed to operate, at a timing based on licenses/permits approved by the ministry/agency/local authority, in compliance with the food sector's SOPs.
  • Restaurants and eateries are allowed to operate on a dine-in basis (with a one-metre distance between customers, according to table size), takeaway, delivery or drive-throughs in compliance with the food sector's SOPs. Hours of operation are subject to license conditions.
  • The operation of daily markets, wholesale markets, farmers; markets, night markets, and late night bazaars (uptown, downtown and the likes) will be in accordance with normal operating hours (subject to local authorities) in compliance with SOPs and the practice of new norms.
  • Pumping operation hours at petrol stations are according to the license / permit approved by the ministry/agency/local authority, and the same applies for laundry operations.
  • Spas, reflexology, massage, and wellness activities including pedicure and manicure services are allowed, also from 6am am to midnight or according to the conditions of the local authority, whichever is earlier.
  • The operation of other businesses for daily needs are allowed at a time set according to the license/permit approved by the ministry/agency/local authority.

Non-permitted activities (Negative List)

Activities that fall into the 'Negative List' stated by the Government are:

  • Entertainment activities, i.e. activities in pubs and nightclubs.
  • Sports and recreational activities such as:
    • Organising community/district /state/national/international level tournaments/ competitions without the Ministry of Youth and Sports' (KBS) permission.
    • Participation of Malaysian players/participants/officials/technicians in tournaments or competitions abroad without KBS' support and permission from the Malaysian Immigration Department (JIM).
    • Entry of foreign players/officers/technicians into Malaysia for the purpose of organising sports and recreational tournaments or competitions, without the support of KBS and JIM's permission.
    • Attendance of spectators/supporters to sports and recreation venues that exceeds 25% of seating capacity, or 8,000 people, or any higher (before 1 April 2021).
    • Mass activities that involve movement and grouping of people, making it difficult for safe physical distancing, such as fun runs, fun rides, marathons, and triathlons.
  • Tourism activities such as:
    • Tourism travel to MCO/PKP, CMCO/PKPB, and EMCO/PKPD areas.
    • Overseas tourism activities by citizens and domestic tourism activities involving foreign tourists entering Malaysia, except from countries specified by the Minister, in compliance with the entry requirements set by the Government.
  • Entry of foreign nationals from any country into Malaysia, except after obtaining the approval of JIM, in compliance with the entry conditions set by the Government.
  • Any activity that could cause so many people to be present in one place, that it complicates physical distancing measures and compliance with the instructions of the Director General of Health.
  • Other matters decided by the Government from time to time.

Safe-distancing measures

Licensees and premise owners must ensure control of customers' entry and exit to the premises with a physical distance of one metre.

Hand sanitiser must be provided at the entrance and used before entering.

Licensees and premise owners are required to provide the MySejahtera QR code facility and provide a customer attendance registration book. The use of the MySejahtera application is mandatory in areas with wide internet access. Exceptions are given for areas that do not have internet access, especially in rural and remote areas.

Licensees and premise owners must also ensure that customers check in using MySejahtera, or manually if is no internet coverage.

For shopping complexes/supermarkets/department stores, customers only need to perform a body temperature scan once at the entrance of the complex and not at every business premise under one complex. Customers with body temperatures above 37.5 degrees Celsius should not be allowed to enter the complex and premises.

Owners of complexes and premises outside the complex must ensure that only customers with the "Low Risk" status in MySejahtera, are allowed to enter their respective complexes/premises. 

Apart from the above, the SOPs also state the following:

  • Licensees and premises owners should limit the number of customers on the premises with a physical distance of one metre at a time, and display the maximum number of customers who are on the premises.
  • Employees, suppliers and customers are required to wear face masks properly in accordance with MOH recommendations while on the premises.
  • Ensure good ventilation and ventilation systems in the premises.
  • It is compulsory to wear a face mask especially when in crowded public places, except for the following activities and places:
    • One's own residence, alone and with household members;
    • Hotel rooms/paid accommodation, alone and involving members of the same household
    • Solitary work spaces;
    • Indoor and outdoor sports and recreational activities;
    • One's own vehicles, alone and with household members;
    • Indoor/outdoor public areas and places without other individuals; and
    • While eating and drinking in a public place without any other individuals.

Full SOPs can be found here.


Photo / 123RF

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