Malaysia’s business community welcomes easing of Covid-19 related SOPs on May 1

·2-min read
People are seen shopping at the Penang Bazaar ahead of Hari Raya, April 26, 2022. —  Picture by Sayuti Zainudin
People are seen shopping at the Penang Bazaar ahead of Hari Raya, April 26, 2022. — Picture by Sayuti Zainudin

KUALA LUMPUR, April 30 — Malaysia’s business community has expressed appreciation to the government for its recent announcement on the relaxation of Covid-19 standard operating procedures (SOPs).

In a joint statement, several of the country’s business associations said they welcomed the government's removal of SOPs, including scanning the MySejahtera contact tracing application before entering premises.

“We also welcome the removal of the negative list effective May 15 in line with entering into an endemic phase where all businesses should be allowed to operate (subject to complying with the relevant SOPs).

“We fully support the need for individuals to self-regulate in order to create a safe environment for everyone and the community at large,” the statement said.

The statement was jointly issued by Asean Retailers and Franchise Federation (ARFF), Bumiputra Retailers Organisation (BRO), Federation of Malaysia Business Associations (FMBA), Malaysia Retail Chain Association (MRCA), Malaysia Retailers Association (MRA) and Malaysia Shopping Malls Association.

It added that the responsibility of keeping business premises and the community safe was largely a tri-partite responsibility — by the authorities, premises owners and individuals.

“Individual premises owners must have unfettered ability to request to view the MySejahtera status of any individual who wish to enter upon their premises if determined as a necessary precaution, especially at food and beverage outlets where customers are anticipated to remove their facemasks or where there is a crowd as social distancing is now unnecessary.

“However, the onus lies on all individuals to ensure they are not on the high risk list when they venture out or even to fake their status under any circumstances.

“Individuals being allowed into the premise is based on good faith and integrity.

“We are thankful and appreciate the minister's understanding and rationale when it comes to enforcement,” the statement added.

On April 27, Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin announced that Malaysians no longer need to scan MySejahtera to enter premises starting May 1.

However, premises owners can check their visitors' health status to verify if they are Covid-19 positive, are high-risk individuals or have been issued a home surveillance order (HSO).

The minister also strongly urged the public to turn on their MySJ Trace function to enable contact tracing for Covid-19 infection cases.

The government also encouraged premises owners, especially in high-risk areas like restaurants, to check the Covid-19 risk status of patrons using MySejahtera.

Khairy had said this would ensure that high-risk individuals, including Covid-19 positive patients and those under home surveillance orders (HSO), were not allowed into premises, adding that enforcement action under the Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases Act 1988 (Act 342) would be taken for failing to comply with set regulations.

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