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Fully vaccinated people should have more freedom at malls

KUALA LUMPUR: Fully vaccinated people should be allowed to shop at retail outlets and malls, which will help improve the chance for business survival.

In a joint statement today, retailers suggest that shops could open for business so long as 70 per cent of the working crew are in attendance at any one time to serve those who have been fully vaccinated.

The statement was issued by the Malaysia Shopping Malls Association, Malaysia Retailers Association, Malaysia Retail Chain Association, Bumiputra Retailers Organisation, Malaysia REIT Managers Association, and Malaysian Association of Theme Park and Family Attractions.

Retailers said they would only admit customers who were fully vaccinated.

"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, 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 malls need not repeat this process and the malls will effectively become a type of Green Bubble environment," the statement read.

The associations also said they had been advocating for such privileges that could help facilitate the reopening of businesses as soon as 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. This will stymie the escalating avalanche of business closures, layoffs and unemployment.

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

The statement came on the heels of an announcement by Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin on possible privileges to be accorded to those who are fully vaccinated.

The associations believe that with all these conditions being implemented, it would be a manageable risk for all shops in the mall to be open for business.

This, they said, 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 per cent of infected cases for shopping areas as reported by the health ministry.

"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.

"This vaccination dividend and privilege will invariably create further urgency to be vaccinated and we urge that more inoculation capacity and more PPVs be ramped up thereby achieving herd immunity faster so that our economy can repair and recovery earlier and with more certainty.

"We look forward to the earliest announcement so that the economy can re-start, recover and halt the debilitating impact of the prolonged lockdowns," the statement added.

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