Malaysia now allows most businesses in Sabah State to operate onsite, amid the ongoing movement curbs termed the conditional movement control order (CMCO) across the state until Oct. 26 due to high local coronavirus disease (COVID-19) activity. Businesses must comply with protocols, including operating 0600-1800 daily with half the normal workforce at any one time, and ensuring that employees and customers adhere to a physical distancing of one meter from one another. Entertainment venues, including cinemas and night clubs, are still closed. Essential businesses and services, including medical facilities, can continue operating onsite. Most public transport remain suspended. Taxis and ride-hailing services can operate 0600-2000 daily. Educational institutions, entertainment venues, places of worship, wedding receptions, as well as cultural and sporting activities, remain suspended. Only two persons from each household may leave their homes at a time to obtain essential supplies. The central government has also banned travel to and from Sabah State through Oct. 25; exemptions are in place for individuals traveling due to medical emergencies and people providing essential services, among others.

Additionally, officials are enacting stricter controls in specific areas with high COVID-19 activity. Kunak, Lahad Datu, Semporna, and Tawau districts in southeast Sabah are implementing the targeted enhanced movement control order (TEMCO), which is more severe than CMCO, through Oct. 25. Entry and exit restrictions are in effect for the localities; the measures also affect those who need to travel into or out of the districts for work. Only essential businesses and services can operate onsite.

Authorities have deployed additional security personnel and erect checkpoints across Sabah State, especially the areas implementing stricter protocols, to enforce the controls. Severe business and transport disruptions are likely in the affected districts during the movement restrictions. Officials may expand or extend the measures if local COVID-19 activity remains high.


Strictly heed the instructions of authorities. Avoid all nonessential operations in the affected area. Confirm appointments. Remain courteous and cooperative if approached and questioned by law enforcement officers.

Emphasize basic health precautions, especially frequent handwashing with soap and water, or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are unavailable. Practice good coughing/sneezing etiquette (i.e., covering coughs and sneezes with a disposable tissue, maintaining distance from others, and washing hands). There is no evidence that the influenza vaccine, antibiotics, or antiviral medications will prevent this disease, highlighting the importance of diligent basic health precautions.


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