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COVID-19: Malaysia further eases dine-in restrictions

New policy applies in 4 states in Peninsular Malaysia, says defense minister

Pizaro Gozali Idrus   | 19.02.2021
COVID-19: Malaysia further eases dine-in restrictions

JAKARTA

Malaysia on Friday further eased COVID-19 restrictions, allowing restaurants to serve more than two people per table for dine-in meals.

In a virtual conference on Thursday, Defense Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob said this applies only in four states in Peninsular Malaysia -- including Selangor, Kuala Lumpur, Penang, and Johor -- and will take effect as of Feb 19.

“More than two persons per table are now allowed, depending on table size,” Yaakob said, adding this will subject to the one-meter physical distancing rule.

He said more than two persons will also be allowed to travel in one vehicle, depending on the passenger capacity.

The minister, however, said the nation should remain responsible and continue to follow measures to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

“We have allowed those living in areas under the MCO [Movement Control Order] some flexibility after hearing public appeals,” he added.

Up to 20 people, excluding marriage officers and witnesses, are now allowed to attend wedding ceremonies at mosques or religious offices in the areas under a movement control order, according to the minister.

Previously, only five people were allowed.

Meanwhile, the tourism sector is still not allowed to operate in the states under the order.

On Tuesday, Yaakob had announced the extension of the movement control for Selangor, Kuala Lumpur, Penang, and Johor -- the country’s four biggest economies.

When the country imposed COVID-19 restrictions in March 2020 for the first time, almost all economic activities stopped, except for essential services, including food and beverage outlets and pharmacies.

The new MCO imposed earlier this year enabled more sectors of the economy to resume operations, including the automotive and retail businesses.

Malaysia has so far recorded nearly 275,000 COVID-19 cases, including 1,030 deaths and 235,082 recoveries.

*Writing by Rhany Chairunissa Rufinaldo from Anadolu Agency's Indonesian language services in Jakarta

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