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Malaysia relaxed lockdown extension: when it starts and when it ends

The government of Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin had intended to lift the lockdown but has added four weeks to 9 June with some easing of travel restrictions.

A hospital health worker wears protective gear at the red zone in Kuala Lumpur.

Malaysia's government announced an extension to the relaxed lockdown in the South East Asian nation on Sunday, adding another four weeks to the movement control order (MCO). The restrictions in place include school closures across the country and the continued shut down of Malaysia's borders. The partial lockdown is now expected to run to 9 June after the initial measures to combat the coronavirus pandemic were put in place on 18 March.

Malaysia extended the MCO, which imposed a ban on all social gatherings and visits and the closure of non-essential businesses, on 23 April but lifted some restrictions on 4 May to kickstart the economy after almost two months of inactivity.

Malaysian families to reunite for Eid al-Fitr

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Under the new relaxed lockdown conditions, the government will allow travel between states for those families who have been separated by the MCO to be reunited for the Eid al-Fitr celebrations on 23-24 May but Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin warned that stricter controls would be put in place if there was an upturn in the number of reported Covid-19 cases.

The initial move to reopen the economy on 4 May was not met with universal enthusiasm: six of Malaysia's 13 states unilaterally left lockdown measures in force as a result of a spike in cases the previous weekend.

Under the relaxed lockdown protocol laid out by the Yassin administration some businesses were allowed to reopen under strict health and social distancing guidelines.

Malaysian health authorities on Sunday 10 May reported 67 new coronavirus cases, bringing the cumulative total to 6,656. The health ministry reported no new deaths, with total fatalities at 108.

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