Hi, I’m Back! (Here’s What You Need to Know About Greater KL’s CMCO 2.0)

The viral star of lockdowns everywhere, the Dalgona Coffee | Image Credit: The Indian Express
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Spoiler Alert: You can probably forego the Dalgona coffee this round… it’s nothing like the original MCO.

(Updated October 19) Putrajaya stunned netizens in and around Kuala Lumpur on Monday, announcing that a fresh new Conditional Movement Control Order (CMCO) exercise would be implemented in Kuala Lumpur, Selangor, and Putrajaya, beginning at 12.01am on Wednesday, October 14, and lasting for two weeks.

It’s worth noting here that when the original MCO was announced for March 18-31, that was only supposed to be for two weeks, too. Make of that what you will.

That said, however, for many people, the CMCO will not result in major changes to daily life. Expect to see stricter enforcement of SOPs, though, as Covid-19 daily new cases continue to rise again, now at levels exceeding those seen in March and April.

PDRM officiers question motorists at a roadblock during the MCO | Image Credit: Malay Mail

So what can you do in Greater KL’s CMCO 2.0, and what is prohibited? The list of SOPs has already been revised a couple of times in the first few days of the CMCO.

The big one for most people is the ban on interstate travel. Initially, the announcement was that “inter-district travel will not beallowed,” but this caused both confusion as dismay, as Selangor alone comprises nine districts (and KL four), and plenty of people live and work in different districts. In the end, it was apparently decided that for the period of the CMCO, the areas of KL, Selangor, and Putrajaya would be regarded as a single zone.

UPDATE: We have sought clarity on this point, and here is the story: If you are coming INTO the CMCO zone from outside (e.g., another state), you must have police permission. If you are passing THROUGH the CMCO zone (e.g., driving from Melaka to Ipoh, passing through Selangor, even without stopping), you must have police permission. (It’s also worth noting here that PDRM will likely require a good reason for such travel.) However, if you are merely travelling within Greater KL (e.g., live in Selangor, work in KL, or vice versa), you need not seek police permission. However, you should have a letter from your employer, or a work pass… something that shows your name, IC/passport number, company, and designation, along with a contact number for a company representative in case of any emergency. This will be sufficient for in-zone travel.

To get a copy of the form to complete for police permission, just click here.

Keep an eye on this issue in particular, as a significant outbreak or flare-up in a cluster could force a change in this policy.

Boleh? Tak Boleh?

For now, here are the known “cans” and “cannots” for the next two weeks:

  1. PDRM, ATM, and RELA will be patrolling and enforcing SOPs, especially in places with known clusters
  2. Only TWO people can leave their house to get food/essential items
  3. High-risk individuals and children are not encouraged to leave the house
  4. Inter-district and inter-state travel banned EXCEPT for emergencies such as death or illness but must obtain approval from PDRM (see above for clarification)
  5. You can cross districts as long as your employer issues a pass or letter as proof with complete details (again, see above)
  6. Restaurant, food trucks, food stalls, kiosks, and grocery stores are permitted to operate from 6am to 10pm; food delivery services are permitted from 6am to 12am
  7. Take-away, drive-thru and delivery are encouraged. Nonetheless, dine in is still ALLOWED
  8. For dine-in service, only two people are allowed per small table (and up to four people per large table) to maintain social distancing
  9. Morning markets (6am to 12pm), pasar malam (4pm to 10pm) are allowed, but to ensure SOPs are being obeyed, these places will be patrolled by RELA
  10. Shops must have one entry point, one exit point and physical distancing measures must be observed at all times
  11. Fuel stations are allowed to operate from 6am to 10pm; those on the highway are allowed to operate for 24 hours.
  12. Public transportation systems are allowed to operate as usual
  13. Taxis and e-hailing services are allowed, but with a maximum of two passengers in the car
  14. Pharmacies are allowed to operate from 8am to 11pm
  15. All economic sectors can remain open, but strict SOPs must be enforced
  16. Everything related to food services can operate
  17. Aircraft services and airlines can operate
  18. Solat allowed in mosques, including imam but there will be a limit of six persons permitted; Friday prayers are permitted, with a maximum of 50 people with one-metre distancing
  19. Recreational activities are not allowed and entertainment centres will be closed
  20. Bars, theme parks, indoor playgrounds, cinemas, and pubs will be closed as well
  21. E-sports, outdoor activities not more than 10 people, and individual exercises are allowed
  22. All educational institutions will be closed, but students taking exams with foreign institutions will be allowed to take their exams, observing physical distancing and SOPs
  23. In-person seminars, workshops, and MICE are not allowed
  24. Social activities are not allowed including weddings, reunions, and similar gatherings

What it really amounts to is not a full-scale lockdown, but rather an urgent request to the public to limit their movements and restrict any unnecessary travel as much as possible in a coordinated effort to break the chain. Time will tell if the exercise will prove successful. Epidemiological models have predicted a worsening number of cases and deaths in Malaysia – and in many other countries –from October until the first quarter of 2021.

Covid-19 deaths are predicted to reach 485 by Feb. 1, 2021. Can we change the future? | Graph Data:

A number of public health experts have stated that they expect the coming weeks to be the worst of the pandemic. In Malaysia, new daily cases have repeatedly set new records, surpassing those set back in March and April. This weekend saw single daily new cases records being set in Malaysia (869), the United States (69,000), and worldwide (over 400,000).

Clearly, we are by no means finished with the Covid-19 crisis.

In the meantime, wear your face mask, wash your hands regularly, and practice appropriate physical distancing. And of course, stay safe and limit your excursions as much as possible.

Dalgona coffee-making is optional.

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