Malaysia expects to fully reopen its economy and lift a ban on inter-state travel beginning end-October at the earliest if new Covid cases average below 500 a day, said Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin.
The lockdown is already showing results, the prime minister said. The nation’s Covid curve has started to flatten, and the health care system is able to handle new cases amid rising recovery rates.
“If everything goes well, we should expect a more convincing recovery in the final quarter of this year,” said Mohd Afzanizam Abdul Rashid, chief economist for Bank Islam Malaysia Bhd. “It is about meeting the timeline and thresholds.”
Malaysia will enter phase three of its recovery plan once daily cases fall below 2,000 and 40% of the population is fully vaccinated. This is expected to occur end-August, and will see all economic activities reopen with the exception of those on the negative list. Social activities will be permitted in phases during this period while all economic activities will be allowed, except for those with high risk of transmission such pubs, spas and salons
In the final phase that may happen by end-October at the earliest, Malaysia will reopen the economy, allow more social activities and domestic travel.