PETALING JAYA: Business operators are waiting with great anticipation for the privileges that will be accorded to those who are fully vaccinated as announced by Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin yesterday.

They pointed out that they have been advocating for these privileges so that businesses can safely re-open soonest possible.

“This should apply to all types of businesses including shopping malls, street front shops and other outlets as well as entertainment, gym, spa, family entertainment centres, theme parks, waterparks and all other gated control attractions, etc,” six trade associations said in a joint statement today.

“This will stymie the escalating avalanche of business closures, layoffs and unemployment.

“Several sources have estimated that herd immunity ranges from 60 to 80 %. Taking the middle-ground, we suggest that a threshold of 70% be acceptable.”

The six associations are the Malaysia Shopping Malls Association (PPK), Malaysia Retailers Association (MRA), Malaysia Retail Chain Association (MRCA), Bumiputra Retailers Organisation (BRO), Malaysia REIT Managers Association (MRMA) and the Malaysian Association of Theme Park and Family Attractions (MATFA).

They suggested that a shop can open for business so long 70% of the working crew in attendance at any one time to serve the public has been fully vaccinated. Furthermore, only customers who are fully vaccinated would be admitted, they said.

“For shopping malls, over and above the control of admission of shoppers who are determined by MySejahtera as ‘low-risk’ and ‘casual contact - no symptom’ status and with temperatures below 37.5 degrees (Celcius), we will additionally check the Vaccination Status from the respective shopper’s MySejahtera and only admit those who have been fully vaccinated. Thus, shops within the Malls need not repeat this process and the Mall will effectively become a type of Green Bubble environment.

“We believe with all these conditions implemented, it is a manageable risk for all shops in the mall to be open for business. This will thereby improve the chance for revival and survival of the retail businesses which have been severely damaged due to the current prolonged and unnecessary closures, despite the extremely low of 0.8% of infected cases for shopping areas as reported by the Ministry of Health,” they said.

They added that malls will become a “Green Bubble” environment for the public to seek relief and release after being cooped up for so long as well as for some physical exercise and mental health therapy.