The National Security Council has decided that Phase 2 of the movement control order (MCO) will have more restrictions.

These restrictions will include a dawn-to-dusk (8am to 8pm) operating hours rule for all shops, supermarkets, hypermarkets, food and beverage shops and petrol stations.

In a press conference today, Defence Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob said this would take effect on April 1.

He stressed that this was not an enhanced version of the MCO (Emco) which is being applied in Simpang Renggam, Johor, and Hulu Langat, Selangor, where some areas are completely locked down and people are not allowed to leave their homes for any reason.

Taxi and e-hailing services will also see reduced hours of 6am to 10pm, said Ismail.

The operation time for public transport providers – from 6am to 10am and 5pm to 10pm – remains unchanged.

Ismail said commercial vehicles are encouraged to only ply the roads from 7pm until 7am during Phase 2.

“They are encouraged (to do so). This is not an instruction,” he said.

Meanwhile, Ismail said social activities are not allowed to take place in gated communities.

“Closed-off communities or not, our laws are the same,” he said.

However, people with disabilities or autism are allowed to seek therapy during the MCO period, as long as it is not done in a group, said Ismail.

‘One person per car’ rule effective April 1

Under the second phase of the movement control order (MCO), the government would restrict the number of people in a privately owned car.

According to Defence Minister Ismail Sabri, only one person would be allowed to travel in a car effective April 1.

“Phase 2 will commence on April 1. We will increase (the regulations) in terms of movement control…

“I wish to stress that under Phase 2, movement is still permitted.

Previously, the National Security Council had mandated that only the “head of the family” was allowed to do grocery shopping.

On March 21, Works Minister Fadillah Yusof said that the guidelines, rather than a rule, was that police may allow extra occupants in the vehicle if there are valid reasons.

Meanwhile, Ismail said the public are advised to shop online instead of going out.

However, he said the public should avoid coming into contact with the delivery personnel.

“We encourage people (to issue instructions) to leave the food on the fence and for the delivery personnel to contact (the buyer) later,” he said.

Phase 2 of the MCO – to limit contact between healthy people and those infected with the deadly Covid-19 virus – will last between April 1 and 14.

As of noon yesterday, Malaysia has recorded 2,470 cases of Covid-19 infection which has been attributed to the death of 35 Malaysians.