Abdul Karim: Tourism, leisure activities approved by SDMC will be allowed to operate from June 17

Abdul Karim said tourism, tour operators, tour guides, home stays, hotels, adventure and extreme tourism, scuba diving and snorkeling, theme parks (dry park only) will be allowed to operate by complying to the Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) and guidelines established by the SDMC. – File photo

KUCHING: Several tourism and leisure activities in Sarawak will be allowed to operate from June 17, with the approval of the State Disaster Management Committee (SDMC), said Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah.

Abdul Karim said tourism, tour operators, tour guides, home stays, hotels, adventure and extreme tourism, scuba diving and snorkeling, theme parks (dry park only) will be allowed to operate by complying to the Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) and guidelines established by the SDMC.

Basic guidelines on social distancing, personal hygiene, temperature scanning, sanitisation of public facilities should be observed, he added.

“Staff, guests and contractors must download MySejahtera and COVIDTrace Sarawak apps to facilitate necessary contact tracing.

“Tour operators can receive and sell bookings for domestic tour packages and activities which have been allowed by the government. Overseas travel packages are still not allowed as at this moment.

“Operators are encouraged to do tour packages promotion through online marketing. No promotional exhibition or roadshows are allowed until authorised by the government,” he said today.

Abdul Karim said tour guides are responsible to ensure that necessary compliance to social distancing and personal hygiene are observed by the tourists throughout their guidance.

As for hoteliers, they are to limit the capacity of a meeting room or conference hall to 50 per cent from its original capacity and attendees should practice social distancing of one metre while on the move or standing.

“A record of attendee’s details must be kept for at least six months. Sauna, swimming pool, lounge, pub, bar, karaoke and buffet restaurant are not allowed,” he said.

Abdul Karim also said National Parks under the management of Sarawak Forestry Corporation will be opened to visitors from June 17 in stages.

National Parks that will open on June 17 are Kubah National Park, Gunung Gading National Park, Tanjung Datu National Park, Santubong National Park, Talang-Satang National Park, Wind/Fairy Cave National Park, Batang Ai National Park, Samajaya National Park, Maludam National Park, Gunung Mulu National Park, Lambir National Park, Niah National Park, Loagan Bunut National Park and Pulong Tau National Park.

Other National Parks that will be allowed to be open from June 22 are Bako National Park, Semenggoh Wildlife Centre, Kuching Wetland National Park and Miri-Sibuti Coral Reef National Park.

“For national park, leisure and adventure activities, nature walk, caving, snorkeling and scuba diving with/without company of park guide, wildlife viewing activities and expedition activity in totally protected areas and wildlife centres are allowed,”

“However, for trekking: leisure– only a maximum of 10 person per group are allowed to enter at any one time per trail, while (Trekking) Adventure – only a minimum of two and maximum of eight people per group are allowed to enter at any one time per trail,” he said.

Only specific forest trails, not exceeding three to five hours walk are allowed to be accessed.

As for adventure caving, only a minimum of two and maximum of eight people per group are allowed to enter at anytime and must be guided, he added.

The details of the SOPs can be downloaded through the Ministry’s website at mtac.sarawak.gov.my.

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Source: https://www.theborneopost.com/2020/06/15/abdul-karim-tourism-leisure-activities-approved-by-sdmc-will-be-allowed-to-operate-from-june-17/