On 18 March, the entire Malaysia went into an extreme and unprecedented nationwide Restricted Movement Control. Everyone, by now, knows that all non-essential businesses are closed and stay home order is in effect, except for those involved in healthcare and essential day-to-day supplies. Supermarkets and convenience stores stay open for the people’s necessities. Police taskforces have been deployed to expedite frequent checks and prevent any large gatherings. Let’s all hope the storm clears up by 31 March.
This article offers an insight about the Restricted Movement Control order and how to get through it unscathed.
Covid-19 Restricted Movement Control and what to do?
It was enforced on 18 March and is expected to last until 31 March. Reported Covid-19 has not reduced immediately after the order qne the Government may extend the restricted movement order, if necessary.
Before the lockdown, Malaysians had already rushed to the supermarkets and stores to stock up, in a mild panic frenzy. But there’s no need to panic, you’re still able to go out to buy food and necessities. At the same time, the government has issued allowances for employees paid lower than the average wage earner.
During the movement control, you are still able to go for a walk, exercise and take the children to a field or the dog for a walk. Just make sure you observe social distancing and stay at least 6-feet from others. Remember, the objective of this movement control is to limit the spread of the virus. Play your part and do all the important preventive measures like wash your hands, use hand sanitiizer and more.
At the end of the four weeks, the Government will assess the risk and community spread and decide if it's safe to let everyone assume their daily activities.
How will the Restricted Movement be enforced?
Compliance with the Restricted Movement Control is enforced by the police and its taskforce. At major townships, citizens can expect to see a strong police presence on the streets. Authorities have the power to enforce the restricted movement order if they see people flouting the rules. Quarantine is also enforced for those tested positive for the covid-19, for an extended period of time.
What is considered an essential service?
Supermarkets and the supply chain stay in operation. Citizens are advised not to panic shop and stockpile groceries or pharmaceuticals. Medical doctors, pharmacists and vets stay open or In operation, as do emergency services and some construction work.
Meantime, public transport continues to operate, as does the media including domestic dailies, radios and online sites. The active media outlets bring you the latest update on everything else, apart from covid-19 developments.
Government offices are closed during the movement order. but a group committee has been set up to keep the Government accountable for its decisions.
What happens to schools?
All schools are now closed, as school holidays have been brought forward to comply with the movement control. Some higher education institutions are offering online tutorials for students, during the movement control order.
Will I still get paid?
Your employer should do everything it can to allow you to work from home. If that's not possible, your employer has access to the Government's wage subsidy scheme if only on the condition that they continue to pay you a certain percentage of your normal salary for 12 weeks and make best efforts to keep you employed. Check with your employer for further information.
Will I still be able to online shop?
If you need something like a new shirt or shoes, you might still be able to buy them online as long as the business is still able to operate with all its employees at home. But it might be that many online stores aren't able to stay open so that might limit what you can buy.
However, the Road Transport Departments where you update your road tax is temporarily closed. The Post Office operates on shorter hours, depending on demand. Certain post branches including the Express services are shut down during the movement control.
What happens to restaurants?
Restaurants should be takeaway-only, while food delivery services are halted for the time being. This means there won't be any fast food or takeaway options during the movement control.
What if I need to travel urgently during the Restricted Movement?
This situation is unprecedented and there is no model for the Government to follow. It is advisable to contact your local agency and proper authorities for urgent matters. Most airlines already grinded to a halt since the outbreak and employees were asked to stop work, with drastic pay cuts and layoffs due to major refunds and huge costs. Therefore, if you haven’t been asked to abort your travel plans, you should cancel it at least for the time being.