Covid-19: EMCO imposed in Selangor and Kuala Lumpur due to spike in Covid-19 cases

On 1 July 2021, Senior Minister (Security Cluster), Dato’ Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob, announced that an enhanced movement control order (“EMCO”) will be imposed on 34 mukims in the State of Selangor and 14 areas in the Federal Territory of Kuala Lumpur from 3 July 2021 to 16 July 2021.
This Alert focuses on the general standard operating procedures (“SOPs”) affecting businesses (including restrictions of movement affecting such activities) under the EMCO for the affected areas in Selangor. The SOPs for the affected areas in Kuala Lumpur have yet to be issued at the time of issuance of this Alert.
The full list of restrictions and prohibitions for the affected areas in Selangor can be accessed here.
Business and Services
All essential services are allowed to operate during the EMCO subject to obtaining an approval letter from the relevant Ministry or related agency. Movement of workers are subject to an approval letter for operations together with a workers’ pass or an employee confirmation letter.
List of essential services
The following have been specified as ‘essential services’ –
Manufacturing sector (including packaging, labelling and transportation chain)
  1. Dried Foods (i.e. sugar, cooking oil, wheat flour, rice, bread and infant milk powder)
  2. Beverages (i.e. mineral water)
  3. Personal Care (i.e. diapers, medicines, hand sanitisers and face masks)
Services sector (including its activity chain)
  1. Water, electricity, energy
  2. Healthcare
  3. Banking
  4. Veterinary and animal feed
  5. Security and safety, defence, emergency, welfare, and humanitarian aid
  6. Transport by land, water or air
  7. Port, dock and airport services and operations including stevedoring and transferring of cargo, pilotage, storing or bulking commodity
  8. Hotel and lodging (for the purpose of quarantine, isolation, workers’ lodging in essential services, and not for tourism)
  9. Communications including media, telecommunications and internet, postal and courier as well as broadcasting (for the purpose of delivery of information, news and the like)
  10. Solid waste management and public cleansing and sewerage
  11. Information technology and E-commerce (for ordering and delivery)
  12. Food and beverage delivery services as well as parcel delivery services/ parcel-hailing services
Operating hours
The operating hours for most business premises have been reduced. Businesses that are now allowed to operate from 8.00 a.m. to 8.00 p.m. include –
  1. Restaurants and food premises (including food courts, food trucks, roadside stalls and vendors) where only take-away, drive through and delivery are permitted;
  2. Grocery stores, convenience stores and shops selling daily necessities;
  3. Supermarkets and hypermarkets (limited to sections selling basic essentials as well as food and beverages);
  4. Pharmacies and shops selling medicines; and
  5. Veterinary clinics and animal care.
Healthcare facilities such as hospitals, clinics and medical laboratories are allowed to operate for 24 hours, or in accordance with their respective operating licences. Petrol stations are allowed to operate from 6.00 a.m. to 8.00 p.m., except for petrol stations along highways which are allowed to operate on a 24-hour basis.
Wholesale markets are allowed to operate from 12.01 a.m. to 6.00 a.m. Farmers’ markets and MyFarm Outlets are allowed to operate from 6.00 a.m. to 2.00 p.m. Daily markets, morning markets and night markets are not allowed to operate during the EMCO. 
Airports and ports are allowed to operate as usual.
Reduced capacity at offices
The number of staff allowed in government offices related to essential services (excluding front-liners, safety, defence and enforcement officers) is limited to 20% of the total staff, whilst attendance for the private sector in essential services is limited to 60% in the office (including operations and management).
Employees in sectors which are not classified as essential services are prohibited from leaving the EMCO area for work purposes. Their employers must allow them to be on leave or to work from home.
Control of movement
Interstate and inter district travel are prohibited except for vaccination appointments.
Public land and sea transportation, such as bus services, LRT, MRT, ERL, monorail, ferries and other public transportation, are allowed to operate at 50% capacity. The number of passengers in a taxi or e-hailing service is limited to two persons, including the driver.
A person is prohibited from moving outside his residential area after 8.00 p.m. except for an emergency or with the prior permission of the police.
Negative list
The activities which are prohibited during the EMCO include the following –
  1. Entertainment;
  2. Sports, social and recreation;
  3. Tourism; and
  4. Education (involving face-to-face teaching).
The full negative list can be accessed here.
Only factories in Selangor producing daily essential products are allowed to operate during the EMCO. It is peculiar that rubber gloves manufacturers were excluded from the ‘essential services’ list.
The spike in the number of new Covid-19 cases in Selangor and Kuala Lumpur despite the imposition of a nationwide lockdown since 1 June 2021 is worrying, to say the least. Given Malaysia’s continuous battle to contain the third Covid-19 wave since August last year, the path back to some sense of normalcy appears to hinge on vaccination and herd immunity. We remain hopeful that the EMCO can successfully break the chain of infection and bring the Covid-19 situation in Selangor and Kuala Lumpur under control.
Lindung Diri, Lindung Semua.
Alert prepared by Tan Wei Liang (Associate) and Tai Kean Lynn (Associate) of Skrine.

This alert contains general information only. It does not constitute legal advice nor an expression of legal opinion and should not be relied upon as such.