PM announces whole of Malaysia under MCO from May 12 to June 7

KUALA LUMPUR (May 10): The whole of Malaysia will be placed under the Movement Control Order (MCO) from May 12 to June 7, said Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin in a statement this evening, as the country grapples with rising Covid-19 infections.

Under this movement restriction that will last almost four weeks, all educational institutions will be closed — with exemptions given only to those with students who are sitting for international exams — and all social visitations and sports and recreational activities are banned (except those in open areas like jogging, cycling and exercising with physical distancing observed). Also prohibited are inter-district and inter-state travels, with certain exceptions.

All economic sectors, however, will be allowed to operate, said Muhyiddin.

The announcement expands on the reimposition of the MCO — seen as the third iteration or MCO 3.0 since the first nationwide MCO that began in March 18 till May last year, and the second one that was implemented in selected states in January to February this year — in most parts of Selangor and key cities in Kuala Lumpur and Johor Bahru last week.

"Based on the increasing trend of daily Covid-19 cases, the government has decided to take more drastic and stringent measures to curb the spread of Covid-19 infections in the community and prevent a sharp increase in cases," Muhyiddin said, adding the decision was made today during a special conference of the National Security Council (NSC) on the management of Covid-19.

Some of the reasons cited for the expansion of MCO 3.0 include the presence of new coronavirus variants with higher infection rates, increasing constraints on the capacity of the public health system and weak compliance of the SOPs among some members of society.

"Data and science continued to show that social gathering activities which complicates social distancing measures as well as concentration of  people in crowded spaces are the main causes of Covid-19 transmission.

"The chain of Covid-19 infection can only be broken by encouraging people to stay at home through tighter movement control," Muhyiddin explained.

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