Malaysia relaxes Covid-19 curbs further for fully vaccinated individuals

The government had placed the entire country under lockdown in June. PHOTO: REUTERS

KUALA LUMPUR (BLOOMBERG) - Malaysia will open up more sectors to individuals who have been fully vaccinated in an effort to rebuild parts of the economy that have been shut due to the Covid-19 outbreak, Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin said on Sunday (Aug 15).

Under the new guidelines which will take effect on Monday, hair salons, and shops selling electrical goods, furniture, sporting equipment and car accessories will be allowed to operate in states under the first phase of the national recovery plan, Tan Sri Muhyiddin said in a statement.

Stores offering used clothes, antiques and toys can resume business under the second phase.

Malaysia is gradually rolling back Covid-19-related curbs as it seeks to strike a balance between sustaining economic growth and reining in daily infections, which have topped 20,000 over the past four days.

Earlier this month, the authorities revised the rules to permit some who have been fully inoculated to cross state borders and dine at restaurants.

"The government hopes that the guidelines announced today will offer some emotional and mental relief to the people and will help to gradually improve the situation of those who are in the affected economic sectors," Mr Muhyiddin said.

Restrictions for the manufacturing sector have also been eased, with no limit on the operating capacity for companies with a workforce that is between 80 per cent and 100 per cent fully inoculated. Companies with an inoculation rate of between 60 per cent and 79 per cent will be subject to an 80 per cent workforce cap.

The central bank last Friday lowered its 2021 economic growth target to 3 per cent to 4 per cent from an earlier estimate of 6 per cent to 7.5 per cent, citing the fallout from the outbreak.

The government placed the entire country under lockdown in June in a move that cost 40,000 people their jobs, with the hit estimated at 1.1 billion ringgit (S$352 million).

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