Yesterday, senior minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob announced that two people from the same household can now go out to shop for necessities or to seek medical services, a relaxation of the one-person-per-car ruling that has been in place for the movement control order (MCO) period. However, Sabah and Sarawak are not opting in, yet.

UPDATE: Sarawak has given the green light to follow the two people per vehicle ruling.

Sabah chief minister Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal said the Sabah Covid-19 command centre would need to look into the relaxed ruling announced under phase four of the MCO, which took effect yesterday, The Star reports.

“We will need to study its impact first,” he told the media after meeting China’s expert consultant team on Covid-19, who were in his Kota Kinabalu office yesterday to share their experience in handling the pandemic, which first surfaced in Wuhan. The Chinese team was in Sabah for the final leg of their week-long visit to Malaysia.

Shafie stated that currently, two people in a car is allowed for specific purposes such as medical reasons and emergencies.

Over in Sarawak, deputy chief minister Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas said that the state disaster management committee has not yet allowed two from the same family to head out together, and currently, only farmers heading to the fields are allowed to be in pairs, Utusan Borneo reports.

“I have not received detailed information on that (the permission to head out in pairs). For the public (besides farmers), not yet. We’ll wait and see,” he told reporters in Kota Samarahan yesterday after visiting an active Covid-19 case detection operation there.

The announcement by Ismail Sabri in his daily non-health briefing yesterday was part of regulations defined in the Federal Gazette – Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases (Measures within Infected Local Areas) (No.4) Regulations 2020, published on April 28 and in effect till May 12.

In it, under “conditions for movement” a person “may be accompanied by one family member staying in the same house” when going out to purchase food, medicine and daily necessities.

The allowance for an extra person was already available in phase three for those seeking healthcare or medical services, where it was stated a person “may be accompanied by any other person as may be reasonably necessary.”

The 10 km radius limit for the purchase of food and necessities as well as for the seeking of healthcare and medical services remains, with permission to allow travel beyond the stipulated 10 km if such food, medicine, dietary supplement, medical services or other goods and necessities are not available within the 10 km zone.

What do you think of this newly-relaxed rule, which seems like a “reward” for the public for Malaysia’s decreasing Covid-19 figures?