Houses of worship can reopen with strict conditions

KUCHING: Effective tomorrow (July 24), non-Muslim houses of worships are allowed to reopen under the Phase Two of the National Recovery Plan (NRP) in the state but with strict conditions.

The Unit for Other Religions (Unifor) in its updated standard operating procedures (SOPs) for houses of worship released today (July 23), said that the houses of worship will be allowed to open from 6am to 8pm with a maximum attendance of 50 people or less.

In addition to that, its administrative office is allowed to operate from 8am to 5pm, and also with 50 percent of staff permitted.

The SOPs stated that the condition for the reopening is that priests, pastors, monks and caretakers of houses of worship must complete their vaccination two weeks before the reopening, while members yet to be vaccinated are not encouraged to attend worshipping activities.

In addition, wedding ceremonies at houses of worship are fixed to 25 people, while only a maximum of 12 people are to be allowed to attend administrative meetings.

However, seminars, courses and cultural activities that are not listed in the SOPs are strictly prohibited.

Those who have a body temperature reading of more than 37.5 degrees Celcius as well as showing Covid-19 symptoms such as cough, sore throat and breathing difficulties will not be allowed to enter.

Senior citizens and those who have chronic diseases are encouraged not to visit any house of worship, and children 12 years and below are not allowed to be present at houses of worship.

Other SOPs to be compiled while at houses of worship include maintaining one-metre physical distancing, wearing face masks at all times, record attendance by scanning the MySejahtera application or filling in the log book manually, frequent use of hand sanitiser, and avoid shaking hands.

Respective individuals must also leave houses of worship immediately once activities have ended.

Unifor also stated that the houses of worship must carry out regular cleaning and sanitisation works on surfaces that are frequently touched.