SIBU: The Sarawak Rivers Board (SRB) has yet to receive any notification from express boat operators if they will be resuming operations for the Sibu-Kuching-Sibu route after Kuching reverted to yellow zone status today.
SRB Sibu assistant controller Hatta Morshidi said this when contacted by The Borneo Post today, adding that there had been no instruction from higher authorities on withdrawing the requirement for police permit for such travel.
“No notification yet from boat operators to resume operation and also no instruction to withdraw the requirement of police permit for such travel from higher authority,” Hatta said.
The express boat service plying the Sibu-Kuching-Sibu route was temporarily suspended on Saturday when the inter-zone travel restriction was imposed from Aug 1 till Aug 14.
The Sarawak Disaster Management Committee (SDMC) had announced today in their Covid-19 update that Kuching had reverted to a yellow zone after only 39 locally transmitted cases were recorded in a 14-day period.
Meanwhile, a boat operator, who wished to remain anonymous, said that a notice had been placed at their ticketing counter to inform prospective passengers.
“The primary reason (for the temporary halting of boat service) was 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 on Saturday.
Meanwhile, the notice indicated that the service would resume on Aug 15, provided that the inter-zone travel restriction was lifted then.
The departure time from Sibu to Kuching is 11.30am and 8.30am from Kuching to Sibu daily.
Recently, Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas, said Sarawak would impose inter-zone travel restriction from Aug 1 till Aug 14 in hope 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 travelling on public transport be it airlines, express boats or regional buses to obtain police permit first before purchasing their tickets.