MALAYSIA’S MCO EXIT STRATEGY: WHAT DOES IT MEAN?

After 2 months of Movement Control Order (MCO) in the effort to fight COVID-19, many of us may be asking: when will this all end? Will our lives be back to normal? What are the government’s plans moving forward? Here, we share some key concepts in Malaysia’s MCO ‘exit strategy’ and what impacts these have on our lives during this pandemic.

CMCO: Conditional Movement Control Order
The Conditional Movement Control Order (CMCO) that was set in place since 4th May 2020 allowed almost all economic sectors to open, with conditions, safety measures and procedures that businesses must strictly adhere to at all times. The allowed operation hours for different sectors and nature of businesses are also imposed under the CMCO.

On 10th May 2020, the CMCO was extended for another 4 weeks until 9 June 2020. Get the latest info regarding CMCO from the National Security Council’s (MKN) COVID-19 webpage: https://www.mkn.gov.my/covid-19.html

‘Soft Landing’
Health Director-General Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah stated that MCO cannot be ended immediately, instead there must be a ‘soft landing’ framework in place. ’Soft landing’ as an exit strategy basically means to gradually lift MCO regulations in phases rather than at one go altogether. This may take some time to achieve, maybe in three to six months, or more, depending on the trend of the pandemic.

‘New Normal’
As we continue to battle the deadly pandemic, even after MCO is lifted, we may have to rethink the way we live our lives. The ‘new normal’ includes adopting permanent or semi-permanent lifestyle changes, such as face mask at all times, SOP for grocery shopping, the way we interact with one another, even the way we wash our hands. We will have to pay extra attention to maintain personal hygiene and our health.

‘Social Distancing’
‘Social distancing’ or ‘physical distancing’ means the practice of maintaining a distance of 6ft or more from other people, and avoiding direct contact with people or objects in public places. Our government has been emphasising on social distancing (‘penjarakan sosial’), and prohibiting the gathering of crowds in public places, and the closure of schools and religious congregations. We are advised to stay at home it we do not need to go out unnecessarily. Even during CMCO, interstate travel is still restricted.

‘As to the question on ‘When will all of this end?’, we must keep positive. This pandemic, like the many pandemics before this, will end one day. Slowly, but surely. Until then, we need to be extra cautious when out in public, practise proper social distancing and personal hygiene. We can fight this together!