Gov’t announces social sector relaxations for fully vaccinated in states under Phase 2

KUALA LUMPUR: The government has agreed to ease the restrictions in the social sector for fully vaccinated individuals who reside in states under Phase Two and above of the National Recovery Plan (NRP), effective Tuesday (Aug 10).

Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said among the restrictions being lifted were the ban on dine-ins, inter-district travel, sports and recreational activities without physical contact as well as tourism activities within the same state involving homestays and hotels.

Muhyiddin announced the relaxation of restrictions in a special address today.

Individuals who wanted to travel across districts must show their digital certificate of Covid-19 vaccination to enforcement officers manning roadblocks, he said.

For dine-ins, the prime minister advised the public to choose well-ventilated premises, and only if necessary or take-away, besides also not staying too long in the premises.

The prime minister stressed that the risk of infections was higher during dine-ins compared to other social activities.

He also advised restaurant operators to provide more dining space outside the premises for better ventilation and ensure that those who enter the premises for dine-in purposes had been fully vaccinated.

“For married couples who are fully vaccinated and would like to bring their children below 17-years of age for dine-ins, make sure your children adhere to the standard operating procedures (SOPs),” he said.

Muhyiddin said sports and recreational activities would be allowed with physical distancing at outdoor and half-indoor areas from 6am to 10pm.

The allowed activities include jogging, exercising, taichi, cycling, skateboarding, fishing, equestrian, archery, hiking, tennis, badminton, golfing and motoring.

“Dine-ins at restaurants or cafes at clubhouse premises will be allowed, however, the changing rooms and showers at the clubhouses will not be allowed.

“This is to avoid gathering after sports and reduce Covid-19 transmission risk,” he said.

Meanwhile, Muhyiddin said homestay and hotel operators must ensure that their patrons show the digital Covid-19 vaccination certificate.

He also stressed that the relaxations, especially the dine-ins and sports activities, did not mean that the community could ignore the SOPs that had been set.

“I have instructed the Home Minister who is also the SOP Compliance and Enforcement Coordination Committee chairman (Datuk Seri Hamzah Zainudin), to ensure that the relevant ministries and agencies will intensify the enforcement and monitoring activities.

“I would like to stress here that each ministry and agency monitoring the relaxation of restrictions, including on owners or premises, must be fully responsible for its (relaxation) implementation to ensure stipulated guidelines are complied with to prevent unsafe situations,” he said.

The prime minister said measures to control the pandemic also required concerted efforts by the government and the people.

“In allowing the relaxation, the government will also ensure public health strategic plans, which are now on the right track, continue to be implemented, especially through screenings, close contact detection, isolation measures, as well as improving healthcare capacity and treatment options,” he said.

He said the government will not hesitate to revoke the relaxation on restrictions if there is non-compliance with guidelines and SOPs.

If infections occur in premises that enjoy these privileges given, Muhyiddin said the MOH will immediately take action, including conducting a risk re-assessment, and added that those premises could also face closure or be slapped with compounds if they are found to have violated SOPs.

“As Malaysians, we have a collective responsibility to contain this Covid-19 pandemic.

“Indeed, the relaxation of restrictions is a testament of the government’s trust that those fully vaccinated can make their own rational and well-judged self-risk assessment in facing the threats of Covid-19 which is now widespread in the community. Insya-Allah, we will win together,” he said. – Bernama