Pre-schools will be allowed to reopen from July 1, the government announced today.

Senior minister (security cluster) Ismail Sabri Yaakob said the decision was taken at a special ministers meeting today, after a detailed briefing by the Education Ministry.

The Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) on the reopening will be announced by the ministry soon.

"The SOPs cover procedures that must be in place before the students arrive at school, when they are studying, during play and eating time, and even when they are leaving school," he told his daily press briefing on COVID-19 related matters today.

The move will involve 6,216 public and 7,887 private pre-schools.

Last week, the government announced that schools will reopen on June 24 for Form Five and Six students sitting for major examinations, namely the Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM), Sijil Vokasional Malaysia (SVM), Sijil Tinggi Pelajaran Malaysia (STPM), Sijil Tinggi Agama Malaysia (STAM), and international examinations of the same level.

Strict SOPs will be practised when the schools reopen, including the use of masks and hand sanitisers, and social distancing of one metre practised in the classrooms.

The country is currently under the Recovery Movement Control Order (RMCO) until August 31.

Under the RMCO, almost all social and economic sectors are allowed to reopen, subject to strict adherence to the SOPs.

These include morning and night markets, food trucks, and food courts, among others. The domestic tourism sector was also reopened and activities like visiting museums and filming, were allowed to resume.

However, pubs, nightclubs, reflexology centres and theme parks are to remain closed, and gathering for feasts and for religious purposes are still prohibited.

Overseas travel is also included in the no-go list.

As of yesterday, 8,453 people have been affected by COVID-19 in Malaysia, and 121 people have died.

Globally, the infection and death tally have surpassed 8 million and 435,000, respectively.

Photo source: Astro Awani