Malaysia orders a new lockdown

KUALA LUMPUR, 12 May 2021: For the second year running, Malaysians will again stay home for the annual Hari Raya Puasa holiday instead of travelling to spend time with their families following the month-long Ramadan.

Malaysia announced it is imposing a national lockdown, described as a movement control order (MCO). It starts today, 12 May, and ends on 7 June.

The Hari Raya Puasa holiday is celebrated this year on 13 May. Hari Raya Puasa is a significant occasion celebrated by all Muslims over the world. It marks the end of the month of Ramadan, and in Malaysia, it is usually a peak holiday for domestic and overseas travel.

It is the third time a lockdown closes travel in the country, but this time it is the strictest since March last year when much of the country’s economy shut down.

Economic activities will continue, but the new MCO bans social activities, events, dining-in at restaurants, local travel between districts and interstate travel.

Travel across state and district lines is only allowed for work, emergencies, medical appointments, visiting of spouses and vaccination appointments. Residents can engage in limited outdoor exercises during the lockdown.

As of 11 May, the government confirmed 444,484 cumulative cases and 1,700 deaths.