As Malaysia prepares to transition to the COVID-19 endemic phase on the 1st of April 2022, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri bin Yaakob announced that besides the borders reopening, other ongoing restrictions due to the pandemic would also be eased.
Ismail stated that business premises operating hours would be removed and that operators would be able to conduct their operations in accordance with their licensing permits. “This means you may all dine at restaurants until 12 am, especially during Ramadan next month,” he explained.
Mosque prayers and religious devotion in other non-Muslim religious settings can also take place without physical distancing.
This SOP, however, would be subject to the Islamic religious authority of the individual states, and non-Muslim houses of worship would be directed by the National Unity Ministry’s Unit for Other Religions.
“Employee capacity restrictions based on immunisation coverage will also be eliminated. Interstate travel will also be permitted for all citizens, regardless of vaccination status”, said Ismail.
The present 50% capacity restriction for large gatherings, such as wedding receptions would also be lifted, while he stressed that physical distancing is still vital and encouraged.
At the same time, protocols like mask-wearing in public places, as well as checking-in to closed-in zones with traffic, are still in effect, thanks to the MySejahtera app.
“It is critical for me to emphasise that this is the exit option that would allow us to return to near-normal lives after over two years of fighting with COVID-19,” said Ismail Sabri.
He added that this was a transitional period before the country entered the Endemic Phase, which is subject to a declaration made exclusively by the World Health Organisation.