Insist on proof that barbers are virus-free, says Ismail Sabri

Barbers have been permitted to reopen during the recovery movement control order phase.

PUTRAJAYA: Senior Minister for Security Ismail Sabri Yaakob says customers have the right to ask their barbers for letters of proof that they have tested negative for Covid-19.

He said customers should insist on the document, especially if their barber is not a local. He later added that all barbers, regardless of nationality, must be screened for the virus.

“Customers have a right to ask for the letter from the clinic. They can actually help the government,” he said in a press conference here today.

“I ask that those who are cutting their hair who identify their barber as a foreign worker – I ask that they insist on the letter of proof.”

This way, he said, customers could help the government identify foreign workers who have yet to be screened for Covid-19.

On a report that has gone viral that a barber in Setapak was tested positive after only two days of resuming operations, Ismail said he has yet to receive information on the matter.

If this is true, he said, the shop will be asked to close and contact tracing carried out.

“That’s why we asked for details of customers, so when there is a positive case we can identify close contacts, either their customers or friends,” he said.

On interstate travel being allowed again, Ismail said he expects that roads would be congested from today to Sunday. He said police will monitor the traffic.

He reminded the people to adhere to the standard operating procedures when visiting R&R (rest and recreation) stops along the major highways, where all restaurants, stalls, toilets and suraus will be open.

“We encourage road users during this time to download the MySejahtera app. If not, they will have to record their personal details manually in the logbooks provided,” he said.

He said, however, that playgrounds at R&R stops are still closed, although food stalls are allowed to operate from 6am to midnight for the convenience of travellers.

For Muslims who wish to pray, the number of people in a surau will be limited to ensure social distancing. They should also bring their own items such as prayer mats and garments to avoid sharing.

Ismail said there may be changes in SOPs for non-Muslim houses of worship, following some easing of restrictions for Muslims who visit mosques to pray.

He had said previously that non-Muslim houses of worship were only allowed to open on one or two days that were of significance to devotees and worshippers in a week.

He said National Unity Minister Halimah Mohamed Sadique will present the proposed SOPs next Monday.

Ismail also said the special Cabinet meeting today agreed to allow meetings, seminars and training programmes and exercises to resume during the recovery MCO. He said the NSC and health ministry were drafting the SOPs for presentation on Monday.

Yesterday, police detained 23 people and fined 61 others for breaching various SOPs during the RMCO.

They also conducted 61 roadblocks as part of border security operations and checked 28,430 vehicles to curb movements of illegal immigrants, especially those who enter through rat trails.

As of yesterday, 1,517 undocumented immigrants had been arrested for various immigration offences.

Cumulatively, 813 undocumented migrants had been quarantined and treated at the MAEPS quarantine centre, of whom 430 have been discharged and will be sent back to their home countries.

Five hundred and six Malaysians also returned home yesterday and 501 were ordered to go for 14 days’ mandatory quarantine at home. The other five individuals were sent to hospital.

Ismail said those who do not fulfil the mandatory quarantine or comply with the SOPs will be issued compounds of RM1,000 or charged in court.

A total of 51,884 Malaysians have undergone quarantine since April 3, and 51,521 have been discharged.


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