Bintulu eases entry restrictions

Aman (right) at the Bintulu DDMC meeting.

BINTULU: Individuals who have completed two doses of the Covid-19 vaccine injections over the last two months and above will be exempted from undergoing a mandatory swab test before entering Bintulu division.

Divisional Disaster Management Committee chairman Jack Aman Luat said the decision was made in line with the second phase of the National Recovery Plan (NRP).

He added the matter was also to encourage those who have not yet registered (to receive vaccination) to do so immediately if they want to enter Bintulu.

However, he said, the decision would be reviewed at the end of this month depending on the Covid-19 infection situation in the division.

“Individuals who want to leave Bintulu or those who transit in Bintulu do not need to undergo the swab test.

“Only those who have not been vaccinated and want to enter Bintulu will be required to undergo the swab test where the validity period of the test results is 14 days,” he explained.

He added those working in essential services also did not have to undergo the swab test if they wanted to move from one place to another in Bintulu where they only needed to show identification documents and confirmation letters from their respective employers.

Aman also informed that Bintulu DDMC have also proposed to the State Disaster Management Committee (SDMC) to allow the economic sector in Bintulu to operate from 6am to 9pm.

Another suggestion, he said, was that the maximum number of passengers allowed in public vehicles for the government and economic sectors be limited to three people excluding drivers.

Jack said the proposed amendments to the standard operating procedures (SOPs) for Bintulu had been submitted to the SDMC for confirmation and gazetting.

“Currently, the SOPs for the Bintulu division is as set by the state government.

“However, we will propose some amendments to improve the existing SOPs based on a number of factors.

“We are doing our best to listen to the grievances of the people, making some assessments on the fate of the people especially in relation to the economic sector.

“We are trying to create a balance, but at the same time we are wary of the new variant of Covid-19 reported in Sarawak,” he pointed out.

Aman, who is also Bintulu Resident, added the committee had recommended some relaxation to restrictions on certain economic activities.

“We can’t disclose it until we get approval from the SDMC,” he said.

On the Bintulu National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme (PICK), he said based on data obtained from the state Covid-19 Immunisation Task Force (CITF), as of July 13, a total of 201,442 people in Bintulu, aged 18 and above, were eligible for the vaccines.

He said a total of 157,779 people or 78.32 percent of those eligible had received their first dose of the vaccines while 67,124 or 33.32 percent had completed their second dose.