State SOPs for domestic tourism

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KUCHING: The Sarawak Tourism, Arts and Culture Ministry has released a detailed standard operating procedure (SOP) for domestic tourism, which has been approved by the Sarawak Disaster Management Committee (SDMC).

“Tourism activities, which are allowed from Oct 1 and subjected to compliance of relevant SOP, include accommodation in hotels and homestays, activities at tourism attractions as well as arts, culture and heritage premises, special interest tourism activities and eco-tourism activities,” said Minister Datuk Abdul Rahman Karim Hamzah yesterday (Sept 29).

“However, spas, reflexology, massage centres and pedicure or manicure services must comply with the SOP issued by the Ministry of Local Government and Housing.”

He stated that the type of vacations allowed were daily (round trip on the same day) and overnight.

In addition to that, vacations with pre-made accommodation or admission bookings and tour package vacations through a travel company licensed and registered with the ministry.

“Individuals are responsible to monitor their own health by making sure the health risk level in the MySejahtera app is low-risk status, it’s compulsory to have digital vaccination certificates or the original vaccination card issued by the Ministry of Health.

“They must present this upon request by the authorities or premises management and comply with every movement order as well as SOP. If there is any symptom, they must seek treatment at the nearest health facilities.”

Datuk Abdul Rahman Karim Hamzah

Abdul Karim said tour agencies or tourism service providers must ensure that all staff and tourists are fully vaccinated before they begin with any tours or related activities.

He also said random RTK Antigen tests should be done for the staff, bus drivers and tour guides.

“The 1m physical distancing rule must be followed and it is compulsory to use a face mask at all times.

“A sickbay at their respective premises should be prepared for emergency isolation of unwell or symptomatic tourists if needed.”

He added that tour operators and tour guides must ensure that domestic tourism SOP and Covid-19 preventative measures are strictly complied with during tourism activities.

“Tourists are required to use hand sanitiser every time they get off and on the bus, the buses need to be disinfected thoroughly after every tour and at the end of operating hours.

“Bus drivers and tour guides should do schedule reminders on physical distancing and other requirements using the PA system in the bus.”

Meanwhile, licensed homestay operators must provide temperature scanner, hand sanitiser as well as ensure physical distancing sign at areas such as surau, hall or rest tent.

He said cleaning and disinfecting work should be done at all times in public places.

“All tourist attractions, hotels and homestays must also improve ventilation.”

Abdul Karim pointed out business events were allowed in Sarawak but restricted to meetings, corporate incentives and conventions only.

“All business events are subjected to the maximum of 50 per cent normal capacity rule in the event space and a maximum of 100 persons only while hybrid events are encouraged.

“All other requirements relating to health status and preventative measures are like the SOP for domestic tourism. However, detailed SOP on planning and organising of business events are available on the ministry website.”

The SOP can be downloaded at https://mtac.sarawak.gov.my/ or https://sarawakdisastermc.com

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