Sarawak hotels, lodging houses allowed to operate under CMCO

Hotels that are allowed to operate must ensure that all government SOPs are followed.

KUCHING: All hotels and lodging houses in the state are allowed to open for business during the conditional movement control order (CMCO) period, Sarawak Tourism Minister Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah said today.

At a press conference here, he said the decision came into effect yesterday.

“However, the hotels that have been gazetted as Covid-19 quarantine stations are not allowed to receive guests unless their status as quarantine stations has been revoked by way of the necessary gazette notification,” he added.

There are currently 31 hotels in Sarawak designated for use as quarantine centres, catering to 3,609 persons under surveillance (PUS) who had returned from overseas, the peninsula, Sabah and Labuan.

Karim said hotels which were allowed to operate must ensure appropriate social distancing between guests and provide hand sanitisers.

“The use of appropriate masks by employees and guests must be ensured at all times and all safety as well as health directives and the standard operating procedures (SOP) of the health authorities must be strictly complied with.

“Common facilities such as gymnasiums, swimming pools, prayer rooms, saunas, spas, business centres, conference halls and meeting rooms are not allowed to be used by guests,” he said.

Restaurants and cafeterias at hotels are allowed to operate from 7am until 10pm for takeaway, delivery, room service and a la carte dine-in.

However, the dine-in will be subject to the requirements of social distancing in terms of seating arrangements. Buffet meals are still prohibited.

Karim also said hotel managements must report any infections among staff or guests to the state health department.

Meanwhile, Sarawak Disaster Management Committee chairman Douglas Uggah Embas said a student returning from Temboro Karas Magetan of East Jawa in Indonesia had tested positive for the virus in Sibu.

He said the student previously tested negative after two PCR tests in Kuching.

“The student tested positive for the virus after a third test was taken by the Sibu division health office,” he added.

He said there were no positive cases reported from other districts. The death toll from the virus remains at 17.

On another matter, Uggah said government officers and those in essential services who had to travel between Kuching and Samarahan, Kuching and Serian as well as Bau and Kuching for work do not need to apply for permits from the police.

“They are allowed to travel using their departments’ passes or letters of consent,” he added.

The committee, he said, had also decided that the Hari Raya and Gawai celebrations in Sarawak will be celebrated for only one day with only 20 people comprising close family members allowed to visit.

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