Wednesday, August 12

Sibu-Kuching express boat service suspended during inter-zone travel restriction

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File photo for illustration purposes.

SIBU: The express boat service plying the Sibu-Kuching-Sibu sector has been temporarily suspended throughout the period of inter-zone travel restriction from today till Aug 14.

An operator here, who wished to remain anonymous, said a notice has been placed at their ticketing counter to inform prospective passengers.

“The primary reason (for the temporary halting of boat service) is due to the low passenger volume coupled with the fact that Kuching has been declared a red zone.

“So, we do not wish to take the risk,” he said when contacted today.

Meanwhile, the notice indicated that the service would resume on Aug 15, provided that inter-zone travel restriction was lifted then.

Sarawak Rivers Board (SRB) Sibu assistant controller Hatta Morshidi told The Borneo Post that the operators’ decision not to operate was probably due to demand and supply issue.

He pointed out that the board did not give any instruction (not to operate temporarily) to that effect.

For the record, the departing time from Sibu to Kuching is 11.30am, while it is 8.30am from Kuching to Sibu daily.

Recently, Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas Sarawak would impose inter-zone travel restriction from Aug 1 till Aug 14 in hopes to curtail the worsening Covid-19 pandemic here.

He had said Zone 1 consists of Kuching, Samarahan and Serian divisions while Zone 2 consists of Sri Aman, Betong, Sarikei, Kapit, Sibu, Mukah, Bintulu, Miri and Limbang divisions.

Meanwhile, Transport Minister Datuk Lee Kim Shin in a recent statement, had said that in view of the restrictions introduced by Sarawak Disaster Management Committee (SDMC) also effective from August 1 to 14 for those traveling from Zone 1 and 2 in the state, advised those traveling on public transport be it airlines, express boats or regional buses to obtain police permit first before purchasing their tickets.