Following an early and challenging start to the pandemic, Malaysia has been praised for maintaining relatively low COVID-19 cases and fatality rates. This is despite battling insecureborders and having both a significant proportion of its population classed as vulnerable and larger households in dense living conditions.
Malaysia’s movement restrictions, known locally as the recovery movement control order (RMCO), has been extended until 31 December 2020. Significantly, the restrictions allow interstate travel and the resumption of businesses and activities such as meetings, seminars, weddings, cinemas, and religious gatherings; as well as the reopening of schools and daycare centres.
Tourism related businesses are required to abide by social distancing measures, limit crowds to 200-250 people, check customers' temperatures, wear facial coverings, and provide hand sanitisers.
With tourism the third largest contributor to GDP prior to the pandemic and oil price shocks to contend with, there is substantial debate about whether the Malaysian Government stimulus packages – the most expansive in the country’s history – will be enough to save jobs and the economy.