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Coronavirus

Malaysia Reopened Nearly All Economic and Social Activities Wednesday

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia — Malaysia reopened nearly all economic and social activities Wednesday after a nearly three-month lockdown successfully brought down viral infections.

Malaysians can now travel for domestic holidays, get haircuts and shop at street markets. Schools and religious activities also will gradually resume.

While happy to be back at work, hairstylist Shirley Chai she is nervous about the strict health rules for hairdressers, especially the one-hour limit for each client.

“I couldn’t sleep at all last night. Very excited because everything is changing,” she said at her salon in a Kuala Lumpur shopping mall.

Malaysia has entered a “recovery” phase until the end of August with certain prohibitions still in place, but officials warn restrictions will be reinstated if infections soar again. Nightclubs, pubs, karaoke bars, theme parks and reflexology centers will stay shut. Contact sports or those with many spectators, and activities involving mass groups, are still banned.

Malaysia has had 8,336 confirmed infections and 117 deaths. Daily cases have dropped to only seven since Monday, the lowest since the lockdown started March 18.

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