Tuesday, March 28

Fewer restrictions from July 1


Weddings, engagements, thanksgiving, anniversaries, birthdays and reunions permitted soon but subject to strict SOP


Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah

KUCHING: Social activities including weddings, engagements, thanksgiving, anniversaries, birthdays and reunions are now allowed in Sarawak during the Recovery Movement Control Order (RMCO) period starting July 1.

Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah said this was one of decisions reached by Sarawak Disaster Management Committee (SDMC) chaired by him in their meeting yesterday.

He said those social activities could take place with maximum capacity of 250 people depending on the size of the venue and that social distancing must be observed at all times.

“As I have mentioned previously, more social and economic activities will be allowed to resume as we move into recovery phase. While the social and economic activities resume gradually, there are standard operating procedures (SOPs) fixed for each sector.

“The SOPs are there to ensure that while we can enjoy the social activity and carry out economic activities, we must comply with the guidelines and rules meant to protect our own health such as social distancing, personal hygiene and wearing face masks when we are in a crowded gathering,” he said.

For those social events, he said a workshop would be held to explain the SOPs to all community leaders and village security and development committees soon.

“It is a programme to implement community policing. The time has come for us to empower and engage the local communities so that they can play their role in this war against Covid-19.

Uggah also announced swimming pools would be opened again to the public, also starting July 1.

He, however, mentioned that unlike the move by the federal government, there would be additional SOP fixed by the Sarawak Sports Council to be announced soon.

Senior Minister (Security Cluster) Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob announced on Wednesday that public and private pools at hotels, gated residences, apartments, and condominiums are allowed to resume from July 1 but these locations must provide lifeguards, observers or supervisors at the locations to ensure the number of people in the pool is controlled at all times.

Uggah also said that Unit for Other Religions (Unifor) has come up with SOPs for religious activities allowed starting July 1 including wedding ceremonies in houses of worship, funerals and visitation to cemeteries.

“Yes, you can visit the graves of your loved ones starting July 1, but please follow the SOP,” he said.

He also said Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture has also come up with SOP for government and private events and business events which include annual meetings for associations and non governmental organisations, which would take effect immediately.

Premises under the financial sector which provide community credit and pawnshops will be allowed to operate as usual also on July 1.

“All the SOPs can be downloaded on the official website of Ministry of Local Government and Housing,” he said.