The RMCO takes over from the CMCO from June 10 to August 31.
Our efforts (social isolation to the point of near-insanity) have paid off as the Prime Minister has officially announced the Recovery Movement Control Order, which is taking over from the Conditional Movement Control Order that ends June 9th.
Of course, our gratitude should be most directed to the frontliners and organising bodies responsible for coordinating this nationwide effort to ‘flatten the curve’ of COVID-19 infections. But we’re not out of the woods yet, people.
RMCO is to be in effect from tomorrow (June 10th) until - fittingly - Merdeka 2020, or August 31st, bringing with it an updated set of rules and guidelines to maintain the good progress Malaysia has made in curbing the pandemic while simultaneously allowing (new) normal life to resume, restarting the economy.
No More Roadblocks
The movement restriction measures undertaken by the authorities during the MCO and later CMCO were most sharply remembered by the tight control over our roads and the fines meted out by the Royal Malaysia Police to drivers in violation of the restricted movement directives.
However, during RMCO, these are to be largely wound down. PDRM’s main task has now shifted to enforce other aspects in accordance with orders from the government and the National Security Council.
Datuk Azisman Alias, Bukit Aman Traffic Investigation and Enforcement Department (JSPT) director, told Bernama that compounds will continue to be issued to individuals and establishments in defiance of the stipulated standard operating procedures (SOP) under RMCO.
Interstate Travel Allowed
This is another big one even though there isn’t a national religious holiday that would stand to benefit from it in the short term. As of June 10th, drivers will be allowed to cross state borders as police roadblocks on key trunk road routes and highway entry points recede. Just remember to also maintain car-to-car social distancing (don’t tailgate).
Drivers no longer need a special letter or part of an essential service to be allowed to travel long distance again. Naturally, this excludes travel to any place under the Enhanced Movement Control Order (EMCO), but otherwise allows Malaysians to travel between other states as normal.
It goes without saying, though, that social distancing and other standard operating procedures apply there just as they would at your point of origin, regardless if your purpose of travel was business, leisure, or to visit family and friends.
And no, you can’t pandai-pandai try to cross the border into Thailand or Singapore (unless you work there) either. Indonesia by car? You’re welcome to try.
(More Than) 2 Person Per Car Rule
The contentious 1 Person Per Car Rule (then 2 Person Per Car Rule) was quickly walked back after it was first announced last month during the CMCO, despite the basis for this short-lived policy being solid.
During this RMCO period, although there isn’t a blanket ruling about how many people are allowed to travel in the same car, always be conscious about keeping a safe distance regardless.
This is even more important when it comes to allowing friends, friends of friends, other acquaintances, even other family members into your car.
In our opinion, if you’re hesitant about allowing someone to ride along in your car, do not feel pressure to oblige out of politeness. By that same token, if you are the one asking for a lift in someone’s car, understand that it’s a riskier time to do so if your request was declined.
No one ruling can be a fits-all solution given the numerous factors at play here: living situation, type of vehicle, size of family or household, access to a vehicle, health concerns of the young or elderly, and logistical problems, to name a few. Therefore, we all need to practice good judgement on a day-to-day basis.
Given that the majority of us are still maintaining a good level of caution despite many CMCO restrictions being lifted, here are a few little timesavers to make sure we, as a nation, continue to keep the COVID-19 infection curve flat.
- Extra Masks And Hand Sanitiser - Because you will be exposing yourself to dwindling (but still present) risk while out and about, consider keeping a spare allocation of face masks and a hand sanitiser on your person to make sure you always have these handy. This is especially important if you’re headed to a crowded spot.
- Keep Your Travel Frequency Moderate - If you can help it, limit the number of trips you make in general. If enough Malaysians practice a more moderate approach to short-to-medium distance travel, hopefully there will be fewer areas with dense crowds. There are certain things you can say no to, let’s face it.
- Spray-Based Disinfectant For Car Surfaces - A simple bottle of spray disinfectant is easily obtainable these days and can go the extra mile in keeping your peace of mind intact and the surfaces you touch and handle in your car germ-free. Look for ones that contain no harmful chemicals or unpleasant odours and are safe for most (if not all) parts of your car’s interior. Quickly hitting problem areas with a quick spritz before the microbes have any chance to settle is also oddly satisfying.
And there you have it, the updated regulations for the RMCO. We've been good so far Malaysia, let's continue!