Saturday, September 26

Sabah gov’t continues to ease restrictions on several economic sectors, tourism industry allowed to operate

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Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal – Bernama file photo

KOTA KINABALU: Chief Minister Datuk Seri Shafie Apdal today announced the opening of more sectors in the state during the fifth phase of the Movement Control Order (MCO), which has been extended to June 9.

The state’s tourism industry is one of the sectors that was given the green light by the government to start operation again as of May 10.

Shafie in a statement also said that inter district travel will be allowed but with strict adherence to the Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) issued by the Health Ministry and relevant authorities.

“Domestic tourism (within Sabah only) is allowed as well as all activities that includes offering accommodation, adventure and recreation, tourist attractions, food and beverage, ticketing services and transportation among others.

“Hotels are also allowed to re-open but facilities like suraus, gymnasium, spa, sauna, lounge, swimming pool, meeting rooms, seminar hall, training room and buffets are to remain closed,” he said.

He said that the state government also decided to increase the number of domestic flights to and from Sabah and urged aviation companies to increase flights from Kuala Lumpur / Johor Bahru / Pulau Pinang / Kota Bahru / Alor Star / Kuching / Miri / Bintulu to Sabah and vice versa.

This call is also for flights within the state.

Shafie added that research and cultural education are allowed as well as cultural activities such as arts and crafts, music and dance which are limited to less than 10 people a session.

Recreational and environmental research activities as well as services offered by Sabah Parks and sanctuaries such as Tabin Wildlife Resort, Danum Valley, Maliau Basin, Imbak Canyon, Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre, Lok Kawi Wildlife Park, Lower Kinabatangan Wildlife Sanctuary, KK Wet Land and private managed activities can now resume operations.

Permits for harvesting bird’s nest and other activities will now be issued, he said adding that all the activities in the tourism culture and environment sector and its network must be conducted according to the Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) issued by the Health Ministry and relevant authorities.

Athletes including in elite and high performance sporting events like athletics, tennis, E-sport, motorsports (cubprix), lawn bowl, archery, shooting, weight lifting, cycling, sailing, pentanque, squash, ping pong, silambam, wushu, karate (kata), taekwondo (kata) and body building have been given the clearance to start training again by the state government.

However, any mass sporting or recreational activities like golf, cycling, motor sports, jogging and aerobics as well as other forms of physical exercise that involves the public should be conducted in groups of less than 10 people.

Facilities like golf driving range, jogging track, lawn bowl field, archery and shooting ranges as well as public parks are opened too and can utilised with strict compliance to the SOP.

Contact sports, aquatics, indoor sports and gathering of fans are still prohibited for the time being.

Professionals such as engineers, lawyers, architects, accountants financial consultants, land surveyor, dietitians, physiotherapist, dentist, veterinarian,optometrist, medical specialist and pharmacists who are registered with their respective professional bodies are among those now allowed to resume services too.

“As of May 10, the state government allows all premises selling motorised vehicles, bicycles and heavy machinery to resume operations.

“The state government would like to remind all in Sabah to continue to practice social distancing, wear a face mask and to always use a sanitiser when out running errands for their safety as well as that of their family and the community,” Shafie said.