Movement control order: FAQs about retail sector

KUALA LUMPUR: The nationwide movement control order is now in force, from today until March 31, to curb the spread of Covid-19.

This is the first time in history that Malaysia has enforced such an order as announced by Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin last Monday.

Followings are the frequently asked questions (FAQs) on the order relating to the retail sector as released by the Ministry of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs:

1. Are distribution centres (DC) allowed to operate as usual?

The operation of distribution centres (DC) involving supply of essential daily needs and food items, including e-commerce warehouse and supporting warehousing services are allowed to operate as usual.

2. Are restaurants, Ready-to-Eat (RTE) outlet/bakeries allowed to operate?

Restaurants, RTE outlet/bakeries are allowed to open but only for take-away or drive-thru purchases or for delivery by certain companies like Grab Food or Food Panda. Dine-in or eat-in are not allowed.

3. How about the operations of foodcourt and other tenants located inside a hypermarket?

The foodcourt operations can run as usual but only for take-away purchases or for delivery by certain companies like Grab Food or Food Panda. Dine-in or eat-in are not allowed. As for tenants, only those in the clinical pharmaceutical industry are allowed to continue their operations in the hypermarket.

4. What about the retail operations of the anchor tenant of a shopping mall?

The retail operations (for food and essential daily items only) at the mall can proceed as usual based on the agreement between the tenant and owner of the premises.

5. How about the operations of the food outlet/sundry shop/convenience store inside a speciality store?

Food outlet/sundry shop/convenience store inside a speciality store are allowed to operate but only for take-away purchases or for delivery by certain companies like Grab Food or Food Panda. Dine-in or eat-in are not allowed.

6. Is the headquarters of a retail company be allowed to operate?

Operations at the headquarters of retail companies can proceed as usual, but the management of the company must identify the sector/division/unit to be classified as essential services and the staff who should come to work. For other non-essential services sector/division/unit, a work-from-home approach should be taken.

7. Will the Ministry issue a statement to limit the purchase for each consumer?

The Ministry encourages the supermarket to conduct self-control to address the issue of unreasonable purchase of food and essential items by consumers.

8. What about the operations of departmental store which also has a supermarket as well as home appliances, fashion and food court?

Only the supermarket area selling food and essential items are allowed to operate in the departmental store.

9. Can self-service launderettes continue their operations?

Self-service launderettes are not allowed to operate during the movement control order period to avoid public gathering.

10. Can the security guard service in supermarket continue operations?

Services related to security can proceed.

11. Is the e-commerce part of essential services?


12. Are online purchase, delivery and installation of goods at client’s house allowed?


13. Is the consumer service call centre allowed to operate?


14. Can ongoing renovation work on business premises proceed?

All ongoing renovation work needs to be postponed. If there are safety issues involved, the company should seek approval from the Works Ministry and the Construction Industry Development Board for the renovation work to proceed.

15. Are diapers and sanitary pads part of essential items?


16. If all other shops in shopping malls were to close, what about the shops at airports?

Only tenants operating in clinical pharmaceutical, supermarket, sundry shop and a convenience store selling essential items are allowed to operate as usual at airports. Dine-in and eat-in are not allowed.

17. Is a third-party service provider allowed to operate to help the operations and maintain the supply chain as this is critical in business survival?

Services that will give a direct impact to security and supply are allowed. Consumers and the third-party service provider should also take preventive measures such as using facemask and hand sanitiser.

18. Is waste collection company allowed to operate?


19. Can supply of rice, sugar, cooking oil and flour be kept more than the permitted quota?

All companies should adhere to the licence quota set by the regulating agencies. However, this can be considered on a case-to-case basis.