MCO Changes Today : Dining, Retail, Creative Industry, Sports

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Malaysia just announced that a series of MCO SOP reversals for dining, retail, creative industry as well as sports!

Find out what has changed, and what it means for the MCO SOP in Malaysia!


MCO U-Turns Today : Dining, Retail, Creative Industry, Sports

On 9 February 2021, Malaysia National Security Council (MKN) announced that the government has decided to further liberalise the MCO SOP, to protect the economy.

This comes a day after they forbade pub and nightclub restaurants from operating.

Here are the changes announced by Senior Minister (Security) Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob :

Restaurants + Eateries

  • Dining in is allowed in restaurants and eateries from 10 February 2021 onwards.
  • Restaurants inside pubs and night clubs are still NOT allowed.
  • Limited to two (2) persons per table.
  • Must have minimum physical distance of 1 metre
  • At least one employee must be dedicated to ensure compliance with SOP

MCO Changes for Dining, Retail, Creative Industry, Sports

Retail Industry

  • All remaining retail business selling fashion, cosmetics, shoes, accessories, electronics, cameras, flowers, souvenirs, carpets, sports equipment, kitchen equipment and more, are allowed to reopen from 10 February 2021 onwards.
  • Businesses must clean and sanitise their stores 3 times a day.
  • Employees and customers must wear a face mask at all times.
  • All customers must register using MySejahtera.
  • Fashion shops must provide gloves for the selection of clothes and accessories
  • Cosmetic and fragrance : only purchases allowed, consultation and cosmetics testing are forbidden

MCO Changes for Dining, Retail, Creative Industry, Sports

Creative Industry

  • The creative industry will be allowed to start operating from 10 February 2021 onwards.
  • This includes animation production, music production, studio production, digital music composition and recording, pre-production, filming, live streaming – all without a live audience.
  • Filming and production is allowed from 8 AM until 10 PM.
  • Production studios must obtain special production certification from FINAS, which includes a name list of people working on the project, and negative COVID-19 test results at least 3 days before production begins.
  • Up to 30% of the management team, up to a maximum of 20 people, are allowed on site.
  • Food and drinks must be packaged and taken away.
  • Face-to-face casting is not allowed.


  • Centralised training programs can resume for teams playing in the Malaysia Football League (MFL), Malaysia Hockey League (MHL) and Sepak Takraw League (STL) starting 15 February 2021.
  • The liberalisation of other individual sports are being considered, and will be announced shortly.


Dining In At Restaurants : Our Opinion

Dining in at restaurants and cafes poses special risk with COVID-19, because it involves :

  • sitting indoors for an extended period of time,
  • sharing the room with strangers
  • not being able to wear face masks while eating or drinking
  • talking while having a meal
Malaysia "Corrects" SOP For Chinese New Year!
Photo Credit : CGTN

A distance of 1 metre may not be sufficient to mitigate the risks of getting infected by a COVID-positive person in the same cafe / restaurant.

Arguably, letting a family of 10 dine at the same table in a private room is far less risky than letting a couple sit at the same table in a common room with other couples.

The risk comes not from how many people are sitting at the same table, but their relationship. Sharing the table with people you live with is ZERO RISK, but sharing the room with strangers – that’s the real risk.


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