Malaysia to relax some restrictions on Friday to boost economy

Lockdowns have also taken a toll on the mental health of Malaysians, says PM Ismail Sabri Yaakob

KUALA LUMPUR : Malaysian Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob yesterday announced a relaxation of some Covid-19 restrictions from tomorrow.

For states under the more stringent Phase One of the National Recovery Plan, businesses will be allowed to operate, provided that vaccination conditions are met.

The businesses include photography shops and services; nurseries and florists, souvenirs and crafts; antique shops, toy shops, carpet shops; creative content and equipment shops; outdoor shops, cosmetic shops, as well as tobacco shops including outlets selling vapes and electronic cigarettes.

Cruise ships will be allowed to operate at 50 per cent capacity, on condition all passengers and crew are fully vaccinated.

Social activities that are allowed under all phases of the recovery plan will now include graveyard visits.

For states under Phases Two and Three of the recovery plan, sports and physical contact recreational activities will be allowed for both indoor and outdoor facilities, he said. Team sports and recreational activities, which involve physical contact such as football, volleyball and takraw, are allowed for those who have been fully vaccinated.

Earlier yesterday, Mr Ismail told Parliament that more economic sectors were allowed to reopen in August as lockdowns were no longer feasible and could have had more negative implications, including on the mental health of Malaysians.

He said the reopening of the sectors would not only help speed up economic recovery but also give the people the opportunity to improve their livelihoods.

"The government made the decision after taking into consideration data from the risk assessments conducted by the Health Ministry and the Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Ministry," he said.

Mr Ismail also said that 74.7 per cent of Malaysia's adult population had been fully vaccinated while 91.6 per cent had received at least the first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine.

Malaysia recorded 19,495 infections yesterday, taking the total to 2,030,935. - THE STAR