Defence Minister Ismail Sabri has announced a list of standard operating procedures (SOPs) for Deepavali which will be celebrated on 14 November
In his press briefing, Ismail Sabri said the SOPs for the festival were prepared after consulting the Ministry of National Unity and meeting with Hindu religious leaders.
The SOPs will depend on whether the area is under the Recovery Movement Control Order (RMCO), Conditional Movement Control Order (CMCO), or Enhanced Movement Control Order (EMCO).
1. You are only allowed to visit temples or other places of worship under RMCO and CMCO on the first day of Deepavali
- A counter must be placed at the entrance to check temperatures and screen for any symptoms associated with COVID-19 such as coughing, sore throat, and breathing difficulties.
- Attendance is recorded using the MySejahtera app or a logbook.
- Visitors with chronic diseases, the elderly, and children below the age of 12 are not encouraged to visit the temples
- No more than 30 people are allowed into the temple at once but this will also depend on the size of the temple. Prayers must fully comply with the SOPs previously released by the MKN.
- Prayers are conducted between 7am and 12pm and divided into five sessions, with a 30-minute gap between each session for sanitisation.
- Sweets must be pre-packaged before being distributed to attendees. Attendees must disperse once prayers are conducted.
2. No more than 20 people are allowed to gather at a landed residential property at the same time
- For strata property such as apartments and condominiums with spaces less than 1,500sqft, a maximum of 10 people are allowed at once.
- If your house is more than 2,500sqft, a maximum of 15 people are allowed in the house at once.
- Family members and individuals are encouraged to wear face masks, maintain physical distancing, and prioritise personal hygiene.
3. Guidelines for areas under EMCO are stricter
- Prayers at temples are not allowed at all.
- Prayers and celebrations at home are only allowed for family members of the same household, no visitors are allowed.
- Members of the household must practise physical distancing, personal hygiene, and avoid the '3Cs' - crowded places, confined spaces, and close conversation.
4. Any physical retail or business activities in EMCO areas are not allowed at all
However, retail and business activities in CMCO areas are permitted on premises approved by local authorities or any relevant authority.
5. Cross-border travels or balik kampung for Deepavali in EMCO and CMCO areas are not allowed
"Those living in areas under the EMCO or CMCO are not allowed to cross district, sub-district, and state borders to return to their hometowns," Ismail Sabri stressed in his press conference.
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