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PETALING JAYA: PETALING JAYA: Businesses within the states should be allowed to operate with strict compliance with standard operating procedures (SOPs), while the movement control order (MCO) restrictions on interstate travel should remain enforced, said the Malaysian Employers Federation (MEF).

MEF president Datuk Dr Syed Hussain Syed Husman, in supporting the position of the Ministry of Health (MOH) to not ease restrictions prematurely, said MEF supported MOH because of concerns that Covid-19 could still spread with the Delta variant as the current dominant strain in Malaysia.

“With the emergence of the Delta variant, MEF has advised employers to exercise extra care to protect employees, including those who have received two doses of vaccine,” said Syed Hussain in a statement today.

He also urged the authorities to open up all the economic sectors in the areas within state borders as this would allow the businesses and the economy to recover, as well as revitalise the job market.

“We strongly urge the authorities to allow businesses that are now closed to be opened without further delay because they have been suffering for almost two years now. We cannot wait to move to Phase 2 or 3 of the National Recovery Plan (NRP) based on the number of daily Covid-19 infections because the more screening that is conducted, the positive results will increase accordingly. That is normal as it is already endemic in our community and we must accept this as reality,” he said.

MEF urged the authorities to allow all non-essential sectors to open, including, sports, barbers and salons, but excluding the night entertainment industry. It said those who have received two doses of the vaccines should be rewarded by allowing them to dine in at restaurants.

“Except for the red zones, travel within the state should not be restricted. Interstate travel should be the last restriction to be removed. In taking this approach, we could isolate the spread of infections to see patterns of concern.”

Syed Hussain said MEF views the position of MOH on the variants seriously due to the many uncertainties regarding the safety and health of employees, including vaccinated employees.

“At the same time, we also need the economy to open up and for livelihoods to normalise.”

In another development yesterday, Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin announced the easing of restrictions for fully vaccinated individuals who reside in states under Phase Two and beyond of the NRP, effective Tuesday.

The restrictions to be lifted cover, among others, dine ins, interdistrict travel, sports and recreational activities without physical contact as well as tourism activities within the same state involving homestays and hotels.


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