KUCHING – Sarawak hopes to get as much needed boost in its domestic tourism numbers with tourism activities reopening since June 17, 2020 onwards. Starting from this date, specific tourism, arts and cultural activities will resume operations during the Recovery Movement Control Order (RMCO).
Basic guidelines on social distancing, personal hygiene, temperature scanning, sanitisation of public facilities should be observed, while staff, guests and contractors are required to download the MySejahtera and COVIDTrace apps, to facilitate necessary contact tracing.
According to Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture, Youth and Sports Sarawak, Datuk Haji Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah, after months of inactivity, we are now ready to open our doors again with the hope that the RMCO will live up to its name with stringent SOP’s in place. We hope confidence will rebound and people will start to travel again and consider Sarawak as their preferred destination with so much to discover.
In a recent announcement, homestays, hotels, adventure and extreme tourism, scuba diving and snorkelling, theme parks (dry parks only), arts and culture museums, galleries, archives, handicraft centres and memorials are allowed to resume by complying with the standard operating procedures (SOPs) and guidelines set by the State Disaster Management Committee (SDMC).
Tour operators can receive and sell bookings for domestic tour packages and activities allowed by the government. However, no overseas travel packages are permitted, and operators are encouraged to do online promotion for their packages, to substitute the promotional exhibitions or roadshows. Meanwhile, hoteliers are to limit the capacity of meeting rooms or conference halls by up to 50 per cent and attendees should practice social distancing besides keeping a record of the attendees’ details for at least six months.
However, saunas, swimming pools, pubs, bars, karaoke and buffet restaurants are still not allowed, while music, dance or theatre schools and photography studios could operate from 17 June onwards, but operators or premise owners must inform clients on the SOP measures.
In addition, the creative industry sector such as production houses and studios can also start their operation activities for music, filming, videography, photography, graphic design and animation effective June 17 by observing the necessary SOPs. They will need to provide travelling records for the past 4 weeks for applications of necessary license and permits.
The details of the SOPs can be downloaded from the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture Sarawak website at mtac.sarawak.gov.my.