Coronavirus pandemic

Coronavirus: Barber shops, beauty parlours, markets set to reopen in Malaysia

A vendor waiting for customers at a market, amid the movement control order due to the Covid-19 outbreak, in Kuala Lumpur in March. Senior Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob said open markets, morning markets, night markets and bazaars can resume operation
A vendor waiting for customers at a market, amid the movement control order due to the Covid-19 outbreak, in Kuala Lumpur in March. Senior Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob said open markets, morning markets, night markets and bazaars can resume operations on June 15. The markets should be located in an open area, and entry and exit should be in one direction.PHOTO: REUTERS

But operators, traders, customers must follow strict measures and use app for contact tracing

PUTRAJAYA • Barber shops, hairdressing salons and beauty parlours in Malaysia can resume operations on Wednesday, said Senior Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob.

Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri said open markets, morning markets, night markets and bazaars can resume operations on June 15.

However, operators, traders and customers must follow stringent standard operating procedures (SOPs) to prevent Covid-19 transmission.

This comes as Malaysian health officials reported 38 new coronavirus cases yesterday, taking the country's cumulative total to 8,303.

The Health Ministry also reported one new death, raising total fatalities to 117.

Mr Ismail Sabri said the haircare and beauty sector contributed RM13.5 billion (S$4.4 billion) a year to the nation's gross domestic product and involved a workforce of about 74,500 people at 16,728 registered outlets.

"We will allow basic haircuts, hair washing, trimming and shaving of beards and moustaches, hair treatment, manicures, pedicures, facial washing and treatment," he said.

However, he said, all those providing such services must wear a mask, face shield and gloves at all times.

"They must change gloves before attending to the next customer and customers must wear disposable aprons," he said at a press conference yesterday.

He advised senior citizens above the age of 60 to make an appointment to avoid contact with too many people, and suggested hair salons set a specific time slot for older customers.

He also said it would be safer for barbers to cut hair at customers' homes.

STRINGENT SAFETY MEASURES

They must change gloves before attending to the next customer and customers must wear disposable aprons.

SENIOR MINISTER ISMAIL SABRI YAAKOB, on the precautions salon workers and customers must abide by upon reopening.

On markets, he said the SOP prepared by the Kuala Lumpur City Hall is for open and morning markets to operate from 6am to 11am, night markets from 4pm to 10pm and bazaars from 5pm to 11pm.

The markets should be located in an open area, and entry and exit should be in one direction.

Traders and customers must also use the MySejahtera app to facilitate contact tracing in the event of possible exposure to Covid-19 cases.

On the proposal to allow more people to pray at mosques, Mr Ismail Sabri said the government had agreed in principle, but the number of those allowed inside would depend on the size of the mosques as social distancing would need to be observed.

However, the final announcement would be made after getting the consent of the respective sultans in each state and the King's consent would be sought for states without sultans, he added.

Mr Ismail Sabri also said Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin would update the public today on the current movement curbs, known as the conditional movement control order (CMCO).

Malaysia has been under the CMCO since May 4, which allows most economic and social activities to resume amid tight social distancing measures.

Before that, the country was under the movement control order from March 18, which allowed people to leave their homes only to procure essential goods and services.

THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on June 07, 2020, with the headline 'Barber shops, beauty parlours, markets set to reopen in Malaysia'. Print Edition | Subscribe