28/01/2021 08:22 PM

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 28  -- The government will temporarily shut down factories and business premises that fail to comply with the standard operation procedure (SOP) on COVID-19 prevention and cause infections to occur.

Senior Minister (Security) Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob said stern action would also be taken against factory operators who fail to ensure that their foreign workers undergo mandatory COVID-19 screening tests.

He said nine factories and 16 business premises, which are not allowed to operate during the Movement Control Order (MCO) period as they are not on the list of essential services, have been ordered to shut down by the International Trade and Industry Ministry (MITI).

“We are serious about ensuring there are not COVID-19 infections in factories, including closing them down temporarily until all COVID-19 cases have recovered. We will also ensure that their workers are free from COVID-19,” he said at the media conference on MCO development here today.

There has been a rise in COVID-19 positive cases and clusters involving workplaces, which have contributed to a spike in daily cases. 

In addition, Ismail Sabri said that although interstate travelling was allowed for long-distance couples, they are still required to obtain approval from the police and also advised to undergo COVID-19 screening tests.

When asked about the actions of the management of some condominiums instructing tenants to undergo COVID-19 swab tests before being allowed to enter their units, he said that this was allowed.

He said although the National Security Council (MKN) did not issue such a policy, the council would not stop the management of any condominium or residential area from doing so in order to protect the safety of residents there.

Meanwhile, Ismail Sabri said police could use their discretion to allow residents living at state borders to cross over to another state to get to the nearest town for daily necessities.

"It is reasonable to allow interstate travel for the purpose of purchasing necessities in the town nearest to them.

"… the radius allowed for travel is a maximum of 10 kilometres (km), but if a town in the same state is 15-km away compared to a town in another state (neighbouring) that is three km away, I hope the police will allow (interstate travel),” he said.

He said this in reply to questions as to whether the government would consider allowing residents in a border area like Hulu Bernam, Selangor to cross the border to Pekan Tanjung Malim, Perak if the nearest town is in the other state.


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