Following the implementation of the Movement Control Order (MCO) issued by the government on 18th March 2020 to minimise the spread of the COVID-19 virus in the country, only selected non-essential services were permitted by the National Security Council (NSC) to continue operations during the MCO, including vehicle repair works.
This means that workshops can operate as usual, as long as they conform to the prescribed safety measures and precautions set by the Ministry of Health (MOH), NSC and respective state governments, including local city and municipal councils.
We compiled some of the information, here are some useful pointers if you are a workshop owner, or if you are a vehicle owner in need of service:
1. Limited operating hours, towing services are allowed
According to a media statement released by NSC on the 18th of March 2020, workshop owners can only operate their workshop within a predetermined timeframe, according to ones decided by the respective state and municipal councils.
For example, both the Petaling Jaya City Council (MBPJ) and Shah Alam City Council (MBSA) allows for workshops to be opened from 9:00 am to 2:00 pm, while the Taiping Municipal Council (MPT) only until 1:00 pm. As for the Selayang Municipal Council (MPS), it announced that workshops would be allowed to operate from 10:00 am to 3:00 pm.
However, emergency towing services are allowed to operate as usual, according to the guideline set by the NSC.
2. Minimise workshop operations
While there are no specifications detailed out my NSC, it is best to operate at minimum capacity in accordance with the working space available.
Depending on the size of your workspace, the number of workers should allow for an adequate working room, while maintaining social distancing (at least 2 meters apart) guidelines set by MOH.
The number of supporting staff and customers present within the premises must also be considered to ensure the required precautions are met during operations.
The lesser the people, the lesser the contact, the lesser the chance to spread the virus.
3. Catering to customers with appointments only
Certain workshops have decided to only serve customers with appointments to limit human interaction, further curbing the spread of the pandemic.
4. Observe safety precautions and measures
Most importantly, all workers and customers must abide by MOH’s and relevant authorities’ guidelines of practicing social distancing between people and ensuring the availability of proper safety equipment such as masks, gloves and hand sanitisers.
All workshop equipment should also be frequently sanitised to ensure the safety and security of everyone on the premises.
Finally, customers should go to the workshop alone, and not travel with family or friends – this is in line with the requirements of the MCO announced by the government.
While workshops are open during the MCO, it is advisable for consumers to postpone any vehicle repairs/maintenance unless absolutely necessary. Towing services will be operating as usual, with no time restrictions.
For more information, customers and business owners can contact their respective local city and municipal councils to find out more details regarding workshop operations during the MCO.