Malaysia Extends Movement Restrictions

The decision was made after the country reported a record 1,755 new coronavirus infections last Friday.

Kuala Lumpur’s iconic Petronas Twin Towers at dusk. (Photo: Esmonde Yong/Unsplash)

Due to a resurgence of Covid-19 across Malaysia, a month-long Conditional Movement Control Order (CMCO) has just taken effect in nine of the country’s 13 states, and those curbs are set to last until December 6. The senior minister for security, Ismail Sabri Yaakob, announced the decision over the weekend following a special meeting convened by the National Security Council. Last Friday saw the biggest daily rise of new infections in Malaysia since the beginning of the pandemic, with 1,755 cases in total, of which more than 1,000 were reported in Sabah alone.

Ismail Sabri said the health ministry advised break the chain of transmission by reinstating the CMCO for Johor, Kedah, Melaka, Negeri Sembilan, Penang, Perak, and Terengganu. He added that the move was necessary because of rising infection rates and a spike in the numbers of people testing positive for the virus.

The ongoing CMCO for Sabah, Kuala Lumpur, Selangor, and Putrajaya, originally scheduled to end today, has also been extended for the same period. This means that the only parts of Peninsular Malaysia not under movement curbs are Pahang, Perlis, and Kelantan. Interstate travel to and from the three aforementioned states will not be allowed except for emergencies and with police permission.

Under the latest CMCO, schools and entertainment venues must be closed, and all eateries, hawker centers, and convenience stores will not be permitted to operate beyond 10 p.m. Social and cultural activities are not allowed, though rules on religious gatherings will be set out by individual states. Sarawak is also imposing a two-week CMCO in Kuching, with people barred from traveling in and out of the district until November 22.

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