As we brace through the Covid-19 pandemic that has been hitting the world since December 2019, Malaysians have united in flattening the curve and curbing the spread of the novel coronavirus. From the first Movement Control Order (MCO), we have now successfully reached the recovery phase, or the Recovery Movement Control Order (RMCO), where locals can interstate travel, and many businesses and services are allowed to reopen. This also means that it is now time to plan our next Cuti-Cuti Malaysia trip!
To regain people’s confidence, business premises and public places are complying to the standard operating procedures (SOPs) given by the government as a guideline for health and safety measures during this trying time.
At Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA), entrance is restricted to only staff and boarding pass holders. In cases where the travellers need an escort into the airport, only one escort is allowed. Thermal scanners are used at entrances and MySejahtera QR tracker app is used for registration. At their Domestic Departure, body checks procedures are now done with minimised physical body searches with the airport’s new X-ray body scanning machines.
At KL Sentral, social distancing is maintained during queuing for ticket purchasing or boarding the trains (ETS, ERL, LRT, KTM) and commuters are required to wear face masks at all times when using public transportations. Although social distancing in public transportations has been eased, commuters continue to observe social distancing by leaving a seat empty in between two commuters, as well as keeping a safe distance while standing.
Suria KLCC ensures smooth entrance for shoppers with thermal scanners and utilises MySejahtera app for registration. Carpark entrances however are limited to selected lifts with guards ready with handheld thermometers. Some of the measures taken to maintain social distancing include reduced tables and chairs at food courts, reduced number of pax in baby rooms to only 4 at one time, and a numbering system for prayer rooms. Prayer mats and telekung are also temporarily removed to maintain hygiene and safety.
Additionally, Suria KLCC implements social distancing of 2 metres, with big, bold stickers to remind shoppers to comply with the SOPs. Notices on “new normal” practices are placed abundantly to serve as a reminder and also to increase awareness among shoppers. To celebrate shoppers, Suria KLCC has come up with The Golden Ticket promotion, where shoppers can win up to RM5000 shopping vouchers daily after spending a minimum of RM150 in two receipts at any specialty stores. The promotion period is between 19th June 2020 to 12th July 2020.
In preserving shoppers’ data confidentiality, IOI Mall Properties went the extra mile and created their own QR code for ease of customer registration upon entering their malls. Shoppers only have to key in their details once and they will be automatically saved, for future registration at any of IOI malls (Putrajaya, Puchong, and Kulai). IOI’s QR code is also used at stores’ entrances inside the malls, where shoppers’ details will be saved only by IOI Properties to secure shoppers’ privacy.
To protect shoppers’ health and safety, the mall’s prayer rooms are now carpet-less and customers are encouraged to bring their own prayer mats and telekung as neither are currently provided. IOI City Mall has also recently added new toilet seat sanitisers at their washroom facilities.
For other premises, various safety measures are taken such as limiting the number of customers, temporarily closing fitting rooms, and removing cosmetic testers. The number of customers allowed at one time is calculated by including the square area of the store, the number of staff, and the arrangement of products and furniture. Outdoor bars’ operating hours are also shortened until only 10.00 p.m., compared to 2.00 a.m. before the MCO. Not only that, IOI City Mall’s Icescape Ice Rink is also now open and allows 100 skaters maximum within its Olympic-sized rink, with patrols to help and keep maintaining the distance between skaters.
Le Meridien Hotel Putrajaya also plays its part in inculcating the “new normal” practices into their business operations. Customers are welcomed with the usual three-step procedure: temperature check, registration, and hand sanitising. Many sanitising spots are provided around the hotel, and social distancing is maintained around the hotel’s accommodation and facilities.
Twin hotel rooms are currently allowed to be accommodated by 1 customer only, except for married couples and families. Function rooms and meetings are allowed with a lesser number of pax, and coffee breaks during meeting arrangements are served in pre-packed food or stall-style buffet, with the coffee area only opened to order coffee or tea. The hotel’s gym has also opened with lesser equipment and hourly sanitation, while the swimming pool area remains closed for now. At the dining area, seating arrangements are reduced and buffet is served stall-style, where servers will serve upon customers’ requests.
Since the RMCO announcement, many tourist attractions have reopened with special offers and discounts. Cruise Tasik Putrajaya, Marina Putrajaya, and Pusat Rekreasi Air Putrajaya will be offering a special Ten-Q Promotion; RM10 for 10 days for rides and activities that they offer! The promotion will start from 1st – 10th July 2020.
Zoo Negara also grabbed the opportunity to entice its visitors by announcing a special one-year free unlimited entry pass for the first 100 paid visitors! The promotion took place between 13th until 21st June 2020. For ticket purchasing, Zoo Negara allows one person to queue for their family and friends to avoid crowding and to maintain social distancing during the queue. For visitors with temperature exceeding 37.5, Zoo Negara will refund their parking tickets. Social distancing marks are placed around the zoo to guide visitors and the zoo’s Animal Show has adopted a new numbering system.
Similarly, Museum of Illusions Kuala Lumpur also had a limited-time promotion to celebrate its reopening, where entrance fees were cut down half between 13th to 21st June 2020. Wearing face masks is made compulsory and are also sold at the museum for customers’ convenience. Contactless and cashless payments are the preferred mode of payment; however, cash is still accepted. To minimise contact, the museum staff will use a special plate to place banknotes.
The museum currently limits 30 visitors at one time and has created a new one-way path to avoid crowding. Puzzle areas are regularly sanitised, with only 2 players allowed at one time. Players are also encouraged to sanitise before and after playing. Typically, museum staff are always asked to assist and help in picture-taking. To ensure both customers’ and staff’s safety, the museum staff are ready to assist and help in picture-taking with gloves on at all times, and will sanitise immediately after being in contact with visitors’ cameras or handphones.
Our Balai Seni Negara and Kompleks Kraf across Malaysia (Kuala Lumpur, Langkawi, and Johor) have also opened their doors to welcome the public. Apart from the usual visits, Malaysians can purchase beautiful, local handicrafts and also sharpen their artistic skills as Kompleks Kraf Kuala Lumpur offers painting classes at their very own art studio. On the other hand, Muzium Negara reopened its doors with a special Malaysia Muhibah exhibition, that is taking place until 31st July 2020. It is surely an exhibition not to be missed, especially by the locals.
Thanks to frontliners’ dedication and Malaysians’ cooperation, the “new norm” is now possible and might just be our new way of life. Let’s treat ourselves by enjoying various deals and discounts near us and help revive our domestic tourism. We hope to see you soon!