Abdul Karim: No U-turn to NRP Phase 1 once S’wak enters Phase 2, dine-ins at food eateries will remain permitted

Abdul Karim addressing the press after inspecting the vaccination progress at ACS today (July 16, 2021).

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By Ling Hui

KUCHING, July 16: There will be no going back to National Recovery Plan (NRP) Phase 1 once Sarawak has entered Phase 2, said Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah.

He assured that restaurants and food eateries that have gotten the green light to allow dine-ins will stay open, unless a drastic change in the pandemic situation requires a new policy.

“As it is, we are in NRP Phase 2. Once we (Sarawak) get(s) into Phase 2, we will never go back to Phase 1 anymore.

“So you can rest assured that the restaurants will stay open. After Phase 2, we will be going into Phase 3 and once we are in Phase 3, we will not be going back to Phase 2.

“Unless something abnormal happens, or suddenly something very drastic takes place whereby the government has to come up with some new policy, which we expect will not happen,” he stressed.

Abdul Karim, who is also Minister of Youth and Sports, said the current restrictions amid the transitioning of phases under NRP are only temporary, including the limitations for inter-state and inter-district travels.

He said these movement restrictions would be loosened once Sarawak achieves herd immunity by vaccinating at least 80 per cent of Sarawakians by the end of August.

Believing that this target could be achieved in time, he also said the Sarawak government through the State Disaster Management Committee (SDMC) has anticipated that Sarawak will be able to enter NRP Phase 3 by the end of August.

“We are now in Phase 2 and we hope to get the tourism industry going as well as business events back on track in Sarawak by the fourth quarter of this year,” he said when visiting the tourism industry players vaccination centre at Association of Churches Sarawak (ACS) here today.

On the vaccination progress, Abdul Karim said 317 out of 2,001 registered tourism industry players were successfully vaccinated with their second doses yesterday (July 15).

The second day of the programme hopes to vaccinate 431 recipients, with over 600 targetted for tomorrow.

Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture permanent secretary Hii Chang Kee was among those present during the visit. — DayakDaily