Houses of worship can reopen with 50 pct capacity tomorrow (July 24) onwards

The latest SOP for houses of worship.

By Karen Bong

KUCHING, July 23: Houses of worship are allowed to reopen in Sarawak from tomorrow (July 24) onwards subject to strict health and safety protocols, which have been updated today.

The State Disaster Management Committee (SDMC), in its daily update on the Covid-19 situation in Sarawak, said that the latest standard operating procedures (SOP) under Phase 2 of National Recovery Plan (NRP) issued by the Unit for Other Religions (Unifor) will be enforced effective from July 24.

Priests, pastors, monks and caretakers of houses of worship must wait at least two weeks after completing their Covid-19 vaccination before reopening.

Operating hours are limited from 6am until 8pm and the capacity of attendance is limited to 50 per cent or a maximum of 50 people, whichever is lower, in compliance with physical distancing of at least one metre.

Members who have yet to be vaccinated are not encouraged to attend any worshipping activities.

The opening for administrative offices at houses of worship is permitted from 8am to 5pm with overall workforce capacity capped at 50 per cent, while for meetings, only 12 persons are allowed at any one time.

As for weddings, only a maximum of 25 persons are allowed at any one time.

However, activities such as seminars, courses, cultural events and other activities not listed in the SOP are still not permitted to be carried out.

In addition, all basic prevention and control measures to prevent the spread of Covid-19 must be implemented and observed including displaying information relating to new normal, preparing counter at the entrance for body temperature checking, providing hand sanitiser, recording attendance via MySejatera or manual logbook and ensuring face masks on at all times as well as physical distancing of one metre.

Apart from that, frequent thorough cleaning and disinfection of surfaces frequently touched must be carried out.

Senior citizens and individuals with chronic diseases are discouraged from visiting, while children below 12 years of age are not allowed to enter the houses of worship.

Worshippers are also advised to dismiss immediately once any activities have ended.— DayakDaily