KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 4 — The federal government is planning to replace the National Recovery Plan (NRP), which details indicators for states to lift movement restrictions, with a new traffic-light based system.
Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin said the government will certainly migrate to a new Covid-19 framework, although he did not reveal when the government plans to implement it, or elaborate on the workings of the system.
“However — I mean, this is just for internal consumption. Eventually, we will move away from these phases to a new system of reporting. Now, we want to make sure that most of the states will go into Phases Three and Four.
“But the NRP will migrate to a new way of categorising where we are after this,” Khairy told the health, science and innovation special select parliament committee in a meeting on September 28.
When asked by the committee’s chair, Bandar Kuching MP Dr Kelvin Yii, if the government is looking at a traffic light system, Khairy said it will be “something like that”.
“Well, we [are] still looking at it because the NRP is one-way, it cannot regress. We can’t regress. So, that doesn’t take into consideration situations where cases suddenly go up,” Khairy said, according to transcripts of the meeting published in the special committee’s “Transitioning from Pandemic to Endemic Covid-19 Safely and Sustainably” report tabled in Parliament on Monday.
Currently, Penang, Perak, Perlis, Kedah, Kelantan, Sabah, and Sarawak are in Phase Three of the NRP, while the remaining Klang Valley, Johor, Melaka, Negeri Sembilan, Pahang, Terengganu, and Labuan are in Phase Four with the least movement restrictions.
Countries such as New Zealand have announced that it will implement the traffic light system once 90 per cent of the country’s population has been fully vaccinated. As of November 2, only 76 per cent of New Zealand’s eligible population have received two Covid-19 vaccine doses.
According to New Zealand news site Stuff, the traffic light system would eliminate almost all lockdowns, and generally see schools open all the time, allowing for more freedom.
A “green light” would mean almost no restrictions on travel, gatherings, and businesses operating. Face coverings would be recommended, but not mandatory, and some QR scanning would be required.
At “orange light”, face masks would be required in spaces like retail and hospitality. Workplaces and retail stores would remain open, but there may be capacity limits.
If the spread of Covid-19 possibly threatens the New Zealand health care system, the “red light” setting will be used. This would limit private gatherings and restrict some inter-regional travel. Schools and retail stores would remain open, but may have capacity limits.