Datuk Lee Kim Shin

KUCHING: The Sarawak Disaster Management Committee has agreed to reduce the number of flights into the state from Aug 1 to Aug 14.

Transport Minister Datuk Lee Kim Shin said the reduction of scheduled flights would involve return flights by AirAsia and Malaysia Airlines.

“The State Disaster Management Committee (SDMC) has made a decision to reduce the frequency of flight for all airlines, both incoming and outgoing from Sarawak, as well as flights within Sarawak.

“This is very timely in view of the recurrence of Covid-19 in the state, and is one of the strategies to contain the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic, especially here in Kuching, Samarahan and Serian,” he said in a statement issued yesterday.

He reminded the relevant agencies including airport and airline operators to check their passengers and onboard crew members to comply with the standard operating procedures (SOPs) at the airport terminal and inside the aircraft.

The minister also said individuals who intend to travel between these two zones must first obtain police permit before purchasing the tickets.

“Nevertheless, there might be others who had purchased their tickets beforehand for their travel starting on or after August 1, 2020 and these people must also obtain a police permit before boarding for their travel.

“The restriction on travelling will also be imposed on movement between zone one — covering Kuching, Samarahan and Serian Divisions and zone two, which consists of other divisions from Sri Aman to Limbang.

“This applies to the airlines, express boats and regional bus services operating between the two zones in Sarawak,” he added.

He also stressed that it was incumbent for the airline companies, express boat operators and regional bus companies to make sure that only passengers with police permits are allowed to board their carriers and travel between the two zones.

“The relevant government agencies including Sarawak Rivers Board (SRB), Road Transport Department (JPJ) and police (PDRM) have been directed to monitor compliance to the directives issued by SDMC with respect to travel restriction.

“This is meant for the safety of the public in our effort to contain the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic. Let us all work together to make Sarawak free from Covid-19,” he urged.