Remaining daycares given green light to reopen

All daycare centres are now allowed to operate according to government SOPs.

PUTRAJAYA: Senior minister for security Ismail Sabri Yaakob says the bulk of daycare centres which had remained closed under the conditional movement control order (CMCO) will be allowed to open now that standard operating procedures (SOPs) have been finetuned.

He said the SOPs, adjusted by the women, family and community development ministry, had been given the green light by the government.

Ismail said they learned that some employers in the private sector had forced their staff to take unpaid leave if they wanted to look after their children, although they were not supposed to do so.

To resolve this, he said, the government had allowed daycare centres to operate.

“Now that they are allowed to operate, I hope this will no longer be an issue for working couples who are forced to take leave just to look after their children.

“And, hopefully, no issues of employers forcing their staff to take unpaid leave will arise,” he said at his daily briefing here today.

Ismail said operators can refer to the ministry’s website and that of the Social Welfare Department for further information.

Three hundred and four centres were previously allowed to reopen under basic SOPs while the remaining 6,696 centres remained closed.

Ismail said the SOPs were comprehensive and comprised details from sending the children to daycares and picking them up and how to care for the children.

He said the SOPs for kindergartens and play schools would be finalised by the education ministry before the premises were allowed to reopen as they were currently under the purview of various ministries.

Meanwhile, Ismail said the government had allowed interstate travel for those who wanted to perform the akad nikah (marriage solemnisation).

However, they would need to get approval from the police and adhere to SOPs, including limiting the crowd to not more than 20 people, and social distancing.

“The government is also allowing photographers to snap pre-wedding pictures and for akad nikah. Weddings are still prohibited,” he said.

Ismail also said the government would allow filming on June 10.

He said the SOPs for barbers and hair salons as well as religious activities at mosques and other places of worship would be discussed at the special ministerial meeting this Saturday.

He went on to reveal that 229 vehicles attempting to cross state lines without approval were told to turn back, the majority of them from Melaka (70), followed by Selangor (53) and Negeri Sembilan (49).

Thirty-three people were nabbed for flouting the CMCO, 30 of whom were remanded, while three were released on police bail.

Ismail said that as of June 2, 266 investigation papers were opened by the police and the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission over Covid-19 fake news.

Of the total, 30 had been charged in court, 11 were given warning, and 18 claimed trial.

He also said 915 students from higher learning institutions were scheduled to be sent home.

Fake or not? Check our quick fake news buster here.