KUCHING: Covid-19 has dealt longhouses in the state a major blow.
Reputed for their impeccable hospitality, longhouses throughout the state are never known to turn their visitors away.
But Covid-19 has changed all that. Longhouses are not opening their doors to outsiders for the next 13 days because of the increasing number of positive cases of Covid-19 in the state.
One of them was Rumah Itam Ujok in Kelawit, Bintulu. Its 50-year old Tuai Rumah (TR) Itam Ujok informed that a ‘no-visitors’ sign was put up the previous day to prohibit outsiders from coming to the 14-door longhouse.
The sign also warned that those caught trespassing into the longhouse would be fined RM2,000.
The longhouse is not the only one which prohibits outsiders; Uma Sambop in Belaga has also put up a similar sign.
A signboard with the signature of the longhouse chief Maren Uma Simon Abit had been erected at the entry road.
The sign stated that as a precautionary measure to curb the spread of Covid-19, all traders, and hawkers or street vendors originating from countries such as China, India, Pakistan and Indonesia were prohibited from entering the longhouse area or a RM500 fine would be imposed on the trespassers.
Elsewhere, Uma Daro in Sungai Asap, Belaga and the Village Development and Security Committee (JKKK) of Rh Bajing, Niah had also installed signs prohibiting outsiders from entering the villages.
Although Uma Daro did not specify the consequences of entering the village, Rh Bajing notified that it would fine trespassers RM2,000.