Nightclubs will finally be allowed to resume operations from 15 May
Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin made the announcement, along with the relaxation of several other COVID-19 standard operating procedures (SOP) in a press conference yesterday, 27 April.
He said that all activities on the National Security Council's (MKN) negative list will be allowed from 15 May.
Nightclubs, which have not been allowed to operate since the first Movement Control Order (MCO) in March 2020, were the only premises remaining in the negative list as of 1 April this year.
Khairy said the date is set to allow the ministries more time to decide on necessary operation protocols for the safety of patrons
"The related agencies are currently discussing the SOPs," Khairy said.
According to Free Malaysia Today, he added that the Ministry of Health (MOH) recently met with organisations representing nightclubs and that there were protocols suggested by both parties.
"These protocols will be brought to MKN to be decided on," he said when asked on the implementation of COVID-19 SOPs.
Last month, Khairy said that nightclubs will remain on the negative list even with the country's transition to the endemic phase from 1 April, as these premises were still considered "high risk"
This was despite allowing pubs and bars, as well as other indoor events and places of worship, to be exempt from physical distancing requirements.
Last year, New Straits Times reported thirteen business groups and coalitions asking the government to urgently abolish the negative list that nightclubs were still on.
The groups stressed that Malaysia will lose out on foreign tourists and revenue, as well as put 150,000 to 200,000 jobs at stake if the nightclub and entertainment industry remained closed.
MOH also announced that people may choose not to wear face masks when they are in outdoor areas from 1 May: