News | Higher capacity for offices, more retail shops to operate under new SOP relaxations

KUALA LUMPUR (Sept 15): Offices in Phase 2 of the National Recovery Plan can soon operate at 100% capacity if 80% of employees have been fully vaccinated, the Special Committee on Pandemic Management said as part of numerous relaxations on SOPs announced today.

The tiered capacity allowance for offices in Phase 2 also includes 80% capacity if 60% of employees are fully vaccinated, and 60% capacity operation if 40% are fully vaccinated.

All changes announced today are effective from Friday (Sept 17).

Other economic relaxations for Phase 2 states include allowing 100% capacity for employee transportation if all passengers are fully vaccinated.

Additionally, furniture factories are also allowed to resume operations.

Meanwhile, forestry-related activities are now allowed for Phase 2 and Phase 3 States, which include logging, as well as farming in permanent forest reserves.

Concurrently, face-to-face meetings among fully-vaccinated individuals are now permitted in States under Phases 2, 3 and 4.

Other Phase 1 relaxations

For Phase 1 states, the committee is now allowing the reopening of 11 retail store categories subject to vaccination rules, namely those selling or providing:

  •     photography products or services
  •     used items
  •     flower shops / nurseries
  •     handicrafts and gifts
  •     antiques
  •     toys
  •     carpets
  •     creative industry products or services
  •     outdoor products (including for camping, fishing and others)
  •     cosmetics, skincare and perfumes, and
  •     tobacco shops.

Meanwhile, the Phase 1 SOPs now also allow the provision of mineral or sand mining, and delivery to key public infrastructure projects, as well as other permitted building construction sites, or other premises covering essential industries or services.

Exports of such minerals, as well as river sands, are also allowed, the statement said. Concurrently, maintenance works for these mining sites are also allowed.

Additionally, farming and harvesting of wood products and kenaf are also allowed in Phase 1 States.

Physical contact sports among social activity relaxations

For social activities, the committee is permitting group physical contact sports like football and basketball on premises with full supervision. This covers states in Phase 2 and 3, and is only applicable for fully-vaccinated individuals.

Group fitness activities like aerobics and zumba are also allowed on premises with full supervision, with a cap of 50% capacity or 50 individuals, whichever is lower. This also covers states in Phases 2 and 3.

The committee is also allowing another relaxation, which covers the entire country, namely visits to graves. The statement, however, did not mention vaccination requirements for visitors.

Another relaxation for all states is a 50% operating capacity for cruise ships, where all passengers and crew must be fully vaccinated.

Childcare centre relaxations for Phase 1, 2 States

For States in Phases 1 and 2, daily child care centres and kindergartens can now operate, subject to all employees being fully vaccinated.

On a related matter, the committee announced that Terengganu will be categorised as a Phase 3 State.

In the statement, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaacob urged all Malaysians to continue practising the SOPs including wearing face masks, practicing social distancing, and maintaining self-hygiene.

“I hope the relaxation can be experienced by the people responsibly and with complete discipline.

“Authorities will always observe and will not hesitate to take stern action on those who are found to be violating the guidelines provided,” Ismail Sabri said. – THE EDGE

by Adam Aziz

credit photo: EdgeProp

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