KUALA LUMPUR: The second phase of the Movement Control Order (MCO), to start on April 1, will see stricter rules being enforced by the authorities, Defence Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob said today.
The stricter rules include limiting the operational hours of supermarkets or any premises that sells essential items, public transport, petrol stations, restaurants, home food delivery as well as for taxi and e-hailing services.
Ismail said the second phase of the MCO will definitely be different from what is in place now. However, he also assured the public that it will not be a total lockdown.
“We will still allow movement of the public. We are only enhancing some of the restrictions from phase one,” he said.
On the limited operational hours, he said this will involve a number of services, with some only allowed to operate 12 hours a day, while others get up to 16 hours.
“We decided that all supermarkets or any premises selling essential times can only operate from 8am to 8pm,” he said.
Operational hours for petrol stations have also been limited from 8am to 8pm, and the same goes for restaurants that are currently allowed to operate for takeaways.
“The same applies to home food delivery. For example, the delivery boys – they too will follow (limited operational hours from 8am to 8pm).
“The government encourages people to make purchases through online delivery, but try not to meet with the delivery boys, because we want everyone to avoid contact,” he said.
Ismail added that operational hours for all public transportation, including taxis and e-hailing services, are from 6am to 10pm.
He said the longer operational time given to public transportation is due to the nature of the jobs of some Malaysians, who work on shifts.
On private vehicles, Ismail said only one person is allowed to be in a car at any time.
On rules for social activities, he said religious activities in mosques and surau have been cancelled since the first week of the MCO; while all religious activities involving other religions too must be halted, be it in churches or temples.
On top of that, Ismail said recreational activities too are not allowed in any area, including gated ones.
“Flexibility is only given to those with autism and the disabled, so they can get therapy based on the advice of their doctors, but we do not allow this to be conducted in a large group,” he said.
On those caught flouting the MCO, Ismail said there has been an increase in arrests with 828 people detained at roadblocks nationwide.
He pointed out that the number of arrests has increased lately.
“This shows that the police have started to take firmer action,” he said, adding that the police and military are conducting 1,520 roadblocks all over the country and had checked at least 257,287 vehicles.
He said roadblocks at toll plazas were also increased from 23 to 65 yesterday.
“This number will be increased soon to all 114 toll plazas in the country.”
Up until yesterday, 67,774 police, military, Malaysia Civil Defence Force (APM) and People’s Volunteer Corps (Rela) officers had been mobilised on a daily basis and this number will soon be increased if necessary, Ismail said.
By: Arfa Yunus