JAKARTA, Indonesia

Malaysia is allowing restaurants and retail stores to resume operations starting Wednesday, a month after stricter curbs were implemented across the country.

The move is part of efforts to revive the flailing economy and comes despite daily virus cases still being over the 3,000 mark.

According to Security Minister Ismail Sabri Yakoob, 18 types of businesses in the retail sector have permission to reopen, including clothing stores, toy stores, sports equipment shops, cosmetics stores, appliances stores, shoe stores, photography studios, nurseries, and florists.

“These businesses must disinfect their premises three times a day and ensure temperature checks for employees and customers. Everyone must wear face masks at all times,” he said in a news briefing on Tuesday.

The government has also allowed restaurants to resume dine-in services, with a limit of two people per table and strict implementation of physical distancing rules.

“Restaurant owners must assign staff to control the entry and exit of customers, as well as limit the number of customers,” the minister said.

Malaysia reported 3,288 more COVID-19 cases on Wednesday, raising the overall count to 251,604.

The death toll increased by 14 to reach 923, while recoveries grew by 1,929 patients to stand at 198,495, according to the latest figures.

The government is still advising people to stay at home as much as possible and urging businesses to allow people to work from home.

However, it has been gradually lifting restrictions due to mounting economic costs and increasing the risk of job losses.

Last week, night markets, car washes, barbers, and hair salons were allowed to reopen.

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