Malaysia will allow most economic sectors and business activities to reopen Monday, days before a two-month lockdown is scheduled to end.
After coronavirus infections fell sharply in recent weeks, Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin says there is a need to revive the economy as the country has lost 63 billion ringgit (USD 14.7 billion) since a partial lockdown began March 18.
It is due to end May 12, but Muhyiddin says most businesses, including restaurants, can open their doors beginning Monday with strict social distancing rules and health guidelines in effect.
That includes health screening for staff and customers, and registering details of visitors. In a televised May Day speech, Muhyiddin said mass gatherings will still be banned, which means places such as schools, cinemas and worship houses will stay shut, and group sports are prohibited.
Muhyiddin also said Muslims cannot return to their villages to celebrate the end of the fasting month, as interstate travel will remain banned. He urged Malaysians to embrace the new norm of life amid a cautious approach to ending the lockdown.
Daily infections have dropped to double digits in the past two weeks, with Malaysia now reporting 6,002 infections and 102 deaths.
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