Which shops, businesses can stay open during MCO 2.0, and which ones can’t

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A majority of businesses, eateries, and shops will be allowed to operate from 6am to 8pm daily under the latest implementation of the movement control order (MCO), Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob announced today.

The senior minister explained that businesses subject to the 14-hour window during the MCO are restaurants and eateries, food trucks, roadside and mobile vendors and food kiosks, food courts and hawker centres, including sundry and convenience shops.

Shops selling daily essentials, vets and animal food shops, laundromats, pharmacies, and even food delivery and drive-through eateries will also be subject to the 6am-8pm rule during the MCO’s 14 days, Ismail Sabri said.

“Hospitals and clinics will be allowed to operate 24 hours,” he said.

Petrol kiosks will be allowed to operate from 6am to 10pm with those on expressways allowed to open round the clock.

He said that daily markets are allowed to operate from 7am to 2pm, while wholesale markets will be allowed to open from 12am to 6am and from 11am to 4pm.

Ismail Sabri explained that staff within these essential services must first have their companies registered to operate during the MCO, and to make sure all employees are equipped with the adequate company permission slips and staff cards to present to authorities at roadblocks.


“Even movements involving official government business must be accompanied by verification documents from the employers,” he said.


Among the activities banned during the MCO include night markets and bazaars, clothes stores, self-service laundromats, optical and spectacles shops, barbers and hair salons, spas and reflexology centres.

Social events that would attract a crowd, such as official functions both in the government and private sector, weddings, engagements parties, anniversaries, religious events, birthday parties, retreats and other similar gatherings are also banned for the next 14 days.

Also on the negative list are tuition, music, dance, art, religious (mengaji) and language classes, along with activities in nightclubs, indoor theme parks and indoor playgrounds, karaoke centres, and cinemas.

“Concerts and ‘live’ events are also not allowed,” Ismail Sabri said.

Other banned activities include tourism, sports and recreational activities and events, meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions (MICE).

Ismail Sabri said that unlike previous SOPs, MICE and social events will also be barred in states under the conditional MCO (CMCO), such as conferences and weddings.

“As for areas under the CMCO, non-contact sports involving no more than 10 people like jogging, cycling and others will be allowed while following the strict SOPs,” he said.

He added that Perlis and Sarawak, the only two states under the most lenient recovery MCO (RMCO) can stick to previous SOPs already announced, with one new regulation that bans interstate travelling in and out of the state.

Meanwhile, Miti today also unveiled a full list of essential services that will be allowed to operate during the MCO, including the relevant supply chains, with the list current as of January 10, 2021.

Other than the five sectors and their related industries, there is also a catch-all phrase where those not included in the list can be allowed to operate after talks with the relevant authorities and as decided by the Health Minister.

A. Factories and manufacturing

  • Aerospace including MRO (maintenance, repair and overhaul)
  • Automotive manufacturing and after-sales services
  • Food, beverages and its chain
  • Packaging and printing
  • Household products, self-care goods (FMCG — fast-moving consumer goods — soap and others) and detergents including its chain
  • Healthcare and medicine including dietary supplements
  • Personal protective equipment (PPE) and fire safety equipment
  • Components for medical tools
  • Electrical and electronics
  • Oil and gas
  • Petrochemicals and petrochemical products
  • Chemical products
  • Machines and tools
  • Ceramics (ceramics as moulds for glove manufacturing)
  • Iron and steel
  • Textile (involving PPE production)
  • Furniture sector
  • Manufacturing, distillation, storage, supply and distribution of fuel and lubricants

B. Construction

  • Maintenance and critical repair works
  • Main works to build public infrastructure
  • Building construction works that provide complete worker accommodations at the construction site or workers placed at Centralised Labour Quarters (CLQ)

C. Services

  • Financial services and its chain

– Financial institutions (Banking, insurance, takaful and other entities that are licenced, approved or registered by Bank Negara Malaysia)

– Capital market entities that are licenced, registered or supervised by the Securities Commission Malaysia

  • Local government and municipal services

– Pawning services (pajak gadai)/community credit (registered money-lender companies)

– Solid waste management / sewerage

– Public cleaning

– Cleaning of premises and sanitisation

  • Telecommunications and digital infrastructure including ICT services and global business services (GBS)
  • E-commerce and its chain including e-marketplace services, digital payments and local e-dagang internet centres
  • Hotel and accommodation
  • Agriculture, aquaculture and livestock sector including veterinary services:

– Management of farms/ swallow farms/ horses/ animal processing plants/ slaughter houses/ livestock/ factories for livestock feed/ supplies such as vaccines/ livestock management/ pet stores (operations to shift livestock is at night)

– Disease control and supervision of production of livestock, livestock input and products related to the livestock industry (including export and import) and

– Health management, diagnosis of illness and treatment of animals

  • Utilities (water and electricity)
  • Professional services (including accountants/ lawyers/ auditors/ engineers/ architects), scientific (including R&D) and technical (including maintenance)
  • Security services
  • Security and defence
  • Land, water and air transportation
  • Services and operating of ports, shipyards, airports, including the moving of cargo, storage or bulk commodities (Perkhidmatan dan pengusahaan pelabuhan, limbungan dan lapangan terbang, termasuk pemunggahan dan pemindahan kargo, pemaliman, penyimpanan atau pemukalan komoditi.)

D. Distribution business (Perdagangan pengedaran)

  • Warehousing and logistics
  • Services/Sales/Distribution of Food and Beverages
  • Retail/ distribution/ wholesale

E. Plantations and commodities

  • Agriculture, aquaculture and livestock and its chain
  • Plantation and commodities and its chain

F. Others

  • Any services, works, industries and businesses as determined by the health minister after discussions with the authorities supervising that service, work, industry and business.