16 MIN READThe Complete 2021 Guide for MCO, CMCO, RMCO in Malaysia [Updated 30 March]

[March 30]

Ismail Sabri Yaakob, Senior Minister for Security announced that CMCO in Kuala Lumpur, Selangor, Johor, Penang and Kelantan will be extended from April 1 to April 14.

The RMCO in Kedah, Melaka, Negeri Sembilan, Pahang, Perak, Perlis, Sabah, Terengganu, Putrajaya and Labuan will also be extended until April 14.

[March 18]

The government has announced offences under Act 342 (Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases) will be classified into 3 categories based on the severity of the violation.

Category 1: Aimed at those that involve high transmission risk of the virus, and that leads to a large-scale impact on the community – would include violations such as entering a pub or nightclub.

Individuals who do so will be slapped with the maximum fine of RM10,000 while companies that open a pub or nightclub will face a maximum fine of RM50,000.

Category 2: These violations are defined as offences that involve a high transmission risk of the virus, but would not lead to a wide-scale impact to the community – include entering an EMCO area without permission, or refusal to give information concerning the prevention of Covid-19.

Category 3: The violations include failure to wear masks, failure to record personal details before entering premises, failure to maintain physical distancing.

Those who commit such offences will face an RM1,500 fine, while premises owners operating beyond the allowed hours may be slapped with an RM10,000 fine.

[March 17]

Prime Minister, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin announced there may also be no more implementation of MCO on a nationwide or statewide range – as it will only apply based on locality and cluster areas.

He also announced the launching of Program Strategik Memperkasa Rakyat dan Ekonomi (PEMERKASA) worth RM20 billion to lessen the burden of the nation while stimulating the country’s economy. 

PEMERKASA will focus on 20 strategic incentive to boost Malaysia’s economy, support local businesses and continue the assistance to the people and affected sectors.

Among them are;
1. The government will raise the budget for the vaccination programme from RM3 billion to RM5 to target a large immunisation by December 2021. 

2. The government will also allocate from RM1.2 billion to RM2.4 million users to receive financial assistance  such as;
• One-off financial aid of RM500 to be provided to the B40 groups who have lost their jobs.
• Additional payment of RM500 to BPR receivers with a salary of RM1,000 and below.


[March 16]

Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob has announced the following updates;

  • Kedah, Perak and Negeri Sembilan change from MCO to RMCO.
  • Selangor, KL, Johor, Penang, Kelantan and Sarawak maintains the MCO status.
  • Perlis, Melaka, Pahang, Terengganu, Sabah, WP Labuan and WP Putrajaya maintains the RMCO status.
  • Sabah and Sarawak are not allowing inter-district travels.
  • Bazaar Ramadhan, Bazaar Raya and Tarawikh prayers are allowed but with limited capacity and strict SOPs.

Bazaar Ramadhan SOPs;

  • Register Mysejahtera
  • Different exit and entry points
  • A controlled number of people allowed in the bazaar
  • From 3 PM to 8 PM 

Bazaar Raya SOPs;

  • Register Mysejahtera
  • Different exit and entry points
  • A controlled number of people allowed in the bazaar
  • From 10 AM to 12 AM

[March 9]

Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob announced interstate travel for tourism between states placed under RMCO is now allowed from March 10.

Travelling from an RMCO state to another via a CMCO state is allowed but tour agencies’ vehicles are not allowed to stop at any areas in the CMCO states.

However, travelling for tourism under the targeted travel bubble will be subjected to tight conditions.

States still under RMCO – Perlis, Melaka, Pahang, Terengganu, Sabah, Putrajaya, Langkawi, Labuan.

[March 3]

Defence Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob announced the updated states under CMCO and RMCO.

CMCO: Selangor, Kuala Lumpur, Johor and Penang, Kedah, Kelantan, Negeri Sembilan and Perak from March 5 till March 18.

RMCO: Melaka, Pahang, Terengganu,  Sabah, Putrajaya, Labuan and Perlis from March 5 till March 18.

Sarawak: RMCO from March 2 till March 12.

*Inter-district travel will also be allowed in all states, except in Sabah.

[February 18]

Effective Friday, 19 February, those residing in states under movement control order will be allowed to dine in restaurants with more than two persons per table, depending on the size of the table, announces Senior Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob.

He said the government has also decided to allow those under MCO to travel with more than two persons in the car, depending on its passenger capacity.

[February 16]

Datuk Ismail Sabri Yaakob announced the MCO extension for Kuala Lumpur, Selangor, Johor, and Penang from Feb 19 until March 4 – with the exception of Perlis which has been placed under the RMCO which are Perak, Kedah, Negeri Sembilan, Melaka, Pahang, Terengganu, Kelantan and Sabah.

There 10km radius is no longer implemented but inter-district and interstate travel is still restricted.

[February 12]

Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, announced outdoor sporting activities such as running and exercising will be allowed. However, only members from the same household will be allowed to do so, he stressed.

Physical distancing must be strictly observed during these activities.

[February 9]

Senior Minister for Security Ismail Sabri Yaakob has announced all remaining retail sectors will be allowed to open from February 10 onwards, although they will be subject to strict SOPs.

Putrajaya has also decided to allow dine-ins at food and beverage outlets, with two customers per table.

[4 February]

Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin announced stricter and swifter enforcement of the SOP.

The government will also make amendments to the Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases Act 1988 to impose harsher penalties against anyone found violating standard operating procedure (SOP) to curb the spread of Covid-19.

The rollout of the vaccine will be ready at the end of February, focusing on three phases; frontliners, citizens with high-risk health conditions and those above the age of 18.

Amendments were also made to the Workers’ Minimum Standards of Housing and Amenities Act 1990 that will also require employers to prepare more conducive accommodation for their workers.

Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob also announced from Feb 5, night markets, barbershops, and car washing businesses are allowed to operate.

The beauty industry such as spas, salons, nail parlours, are still not allowed to operate.

During the Chinese New Year festival, celebrations are only allowed in your own homes as travelling to your hometowns, cross-district travels and visiting other people’s homes is restricted.

During the worship ceremony, only 5 authority members are allowed in.

[2 February]

The Movement Control Order which is set to expire on February 4, will be extended until 18 February 2021. The National Security Council also announced in the next two weeks with be implemented with stricter measures.

It will not affect most parts of Sarawak aside from several districts where MCO and enhanced MCO is imposed. 

[18 January]

Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin announced the “Perlindungan Ekonomi dan Rakyat Malaysia” assistance package worth RM15bil.

A total of 22 initiatives will be implemented on three main objectives namely;

  • combating the Covid-19 outbreak
  • safeguarding the welfare of the people
  • supporting the business continuity

[12 January]

His Majesty The King, Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah has agreed to proclaim a State of Emergency nationwide until 1 August 2021, to control the Covid-19 outbreak in the country.

[11 January]

An updated ruling for MCO, CMCO and RMCO has been announced by the Malaysian government, from 13 January to 26 January with renewed SOP sets – to reduce and hopefully stop the infectivity COVID-19 rate from rising even further.

1. Which states are under the MCO, CMCO, RMCO?

According to the National Security Council, an updated list of SOP has been published, involving areas still under MCO and RMCO. 

Which areas are still under MCO (Movement Control Order) from 13 Jan to 18 Feb 2021?

  • Penang
  • Selangor
  • Kuala Lumpur
  • Putrajaya
  • Labuan
  • Melaka
  • Johor
  • Sabah
  • Kelantan
  • Kedah
  • Perak
  • Negeri Sembilan
  • Pahang
  • Terengganu
  • Perlis
Which areas are still under RMCO (Recovery Movement Control Order) from 13 Jan to 4 Feb 2021?
    • Sarawak

2.Will inter-district and interstate travel be restricted? 


  • Yes. Travelling within inter-district and interstate is prohibited.
  • Roadblocks will be enforced, movements limited to 10KM radius to people in a vehicle.
  • Only two people from one household in a car to purchase essential items such as groceries and medicine. 
  • Public transport was allowed to operate at full capacity as long as it followed the government’s directions and the Ministry of Health.
  • Roadblocks will be implemented from 13 January, which will be mounted at all districts and state borders.

3. Which industries are part of the essential economic sectors?

Manufacturing, construction, service, trade and distribution, and plantations and commodities, are allowed to operate during the MCO period.

However, only 30% of employees at the management level are permitted to be at the office, and employers are to determine the number of employees permitted in the office at any one time. 

Please contact the Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI) for more details.

Companies that are not listed under the essential economic sectors must comply with the work from home order.

4.Can families and friends still enjoy eating out or shopping?


  • No, eateries and hawker stalls are allowed to operate but only for takeaway services.
  • All business premises have to check that customers check-in using their MySejahtera app or manually write their name and contact number down and not allow patrons with body temperature above 37.5 degrees celsius to enter premises.
  • Grocers, shopping malls, retail stores, laundromats, night markets and other businesses for daily necessities are open to the public under strict SOP compliance. 
  • Food deliveries such as GrabFood and FoodPanda can be done from 6 AM till 12 midnight. 


  • Pubs remain closed nationwide.
  • Operation hours are allowed up till midnight and no more than that. 
  • Yes, there will not be a capacity limit for dining in, but high-risk individuals and children are still not encouraged to head out to the public and are advised to avoid crowded areas.
  • Please be aware that there must be a 1-metre distance between patrons when dining; for example, a table of 10 maybe 7 people can sit.
  • Operation hours are allowed up till midnight and no more than that.

5.Can the public enjoy outdoor activities such as hiking and sports?


  • Only people living in the same household can join outdoor and indoor recreational activities.
  • There must be 2-meter social distancing for all recreational activities.
  • No more than two people are allowed to jog at any time.
  • Non-contact recreational activities are not allowed in groups; for example, only 1 person is allowed for cycling. 


  • Yes, the public can enjoy indoor and outdoor activities, but only those without physical contact are allowed.
  • There must be 1 – 3 metre social distancing for static activities, and 3 – 5 metre distance for dynamic activities.
  • Both activities must only be groups of less than 10 people.
  • Sports facilities are restricted to ONLY training activities that do not involve physical contact.
  • User capacities for all outdoor and indoor facilities and attractions should not exceed 50% of the total capacity limit.

6.How about other kinds of activities?


  • No social gatherings are allowed, such as weddings, conferences, religious progression, meetings, seminars, courses. 


  • No social gatherings are allowed, such as weddings, conferences, religious progression, meetings, seminars, courses. 
  • Religious activities are allowed with the minimum number of attendees stipulated in the SOP to ensure social distancing. 
  • State religious authorities are advised to provide strict guidelines in determining the minimum number of attendees.  


  • Large-scale gatherings such as feasts, receptions, birthday celebrations, reunions, retreats, and other social events are not allowed.
  • Wedding ceremonies are allowed with a maximum of 30 people –  it is also dependant on the size of space. 
  • Religious activities are allowed with the minimum number of attendees stipulated in the SOP to ensure social distancing. 

A wedding during CMCO, RMCO.

7.What are the penalties if anyone breaks the MCO, CMCO and RMCO rules in Malaysia?

If anyone is found violating the Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases Regulations 2020, you will be fined RM1,000 or up to six months imprisonment or both.

If you obstruct a public official; either a police officer, medical personal, public servants of various agencies, or local council officers who are enforcing the CMCO ruling, you can face up to 2 years in prison or a fine of up to RM10,000 or both under Section 186 of the Penal Code.

The penalty for breaching the CMCO regulations are the same for those under RMCO.

8.What are the latest SOPS you need to follow?

Please follow the SOPs set by the National Security Council and the Ministry of Health.

    • Wear a mask to protect yourself and stop the COVID-19 spread.
    • Take care of your hygiene – often change clothes.
    • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
    • Stay at least 6 feet from others – in public and workspaces if you are not working from home.
    • Avoid crowds. The more people you are in contact with, the more likely you will be exposed to COVID-19.
    • Measure your temperature before entering any establishment.
    • Use hand sanitisers as you travel in public transportation.

Keep the SOP during CMCO, MCO, RMCO

9.What are the symptoms if you are affected with COVID-19?

Do remember, if you were exposed to COVID-19, it takes up to 5–6 days for symptoms to show. However, it can take up to 14 days, and the virus affects differently to different people.

Most common symptoms;

  • fever
  • dry cough
  • tiredness
Less common symptoms;
  • aches and pains
  • sore throat
  • diarrhoea
  • conjunctivitis
  • headache
  • loss of taste or smell
  • a rash on the skin, or discolouration of fingers or toes

People with mild symptoms who are otherwise healthy should manage their symptoms at home.

Most serious symptoms;
  • difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
  • chest pain or pressure
  • loss of speech or movement
Seek immediate medical attention if you have the above symptoms by calling firsthand before visiting the nearest health facility who will handle COVID-19 cases.

10.What is Malaysia’s status concerning the vaccine?

As of January 11th, the Malaysian government signed a deal to buy an additional 12.2 million doses of a COVID-19 vaccine manufactured by U.S. and German drugmakers PfizerBioNTech.


11.What about the State of Emergency declaration?

  • Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin assured the country that there would be no curfews or military rule under the emergency order until 1 August 2021.
  • Cabinet, state executive councils and government services will continue to function as usual.
  • The King can make the necessary decrees to tackle the pandemic, including ordering private healthcare facilities to be taken over by the government if public hospitals are stretched.

12. How will the 15bil aid package help those affected by MCO 2.0?

  • Moratorium facility, including the extension of the moratorium and restructuring of loan repayment, will continue to be offered by banks.
  • Special discount of 10% on electricity bills from January to March 2021 to 6 business sectors nationwide – such as hotel operators, theme parks, convention centres, shopping malls, local airline offices, and travel and tour agencies.
  • Credit counselling to be given by phone and online.
  • The wage subsidy programme 3.0 under Socso will be enhanced – all employers operating in the MCO states will be eligible to apply, irrespective of sector.
  • PTPTN borrowers affected by the pandemic or floods can apply for a three-month PTPTN loan repayment moratorium until 31 March 2021.
  • Government to expand the Prihatin Special Grant Plus assistance to cover 500,000 SMEs in the seven MCO states with a payment of RM1,000 each, while 300,000 SMEs in other states will receive RM500 each.
  • Government agrees to extend the effective period of inability to perform contractual obligations to March 31, 2021, under the Temporary Measures for Reducing the Impact of CovidD-19 Act 2020, or Act 829.

13. What are the safety measures during CNY celebration this 11 Feb 2021? [Updated 8 February 2021]

Revised SOP for prayer sessions at the temple;

  • It is ONLY allowed on 11,12 and 19 February.
  • Limited to ONLY 30 people.
  • All who attend prayers must wear a face mask and/or face shield.
  • All who attend prayers must practice physical distancing.
  • Each prayer session is limited to 30 minutes followed by 30 minutes of sanitization.
  • Prayer sessions are ONLY between 6 am and 2 pm.

For Hokkiens, Bai Tai Ging prayers are allowed within the home compound on the night of 19 February.

Revised SOP for Chinese New Year Dinner;

  • The dinner celebration is only allowed on the 11 February.
  • Limited to ONLY 15 family members living within a 10km radius without crossing district or state.


Follow the MCO/CMCO/RMCO rules, practice the SOP and stay safe.

By following the SOPs, your diligence expresses your heartfelt gratitude and appreciation to all the healthcare workers working in the Ministry of Health Malaysia.

Let’s face 2021 by staying safe, practising our SOPs and taking care of one another.

Remember #kitajagakita, so let us continue to flatten that curve!

#StayHopefulWithIQI with a few articles and links to help you embrace 2021;

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