Sports, co-curricular activities allowed in schools from Sept 1

Parents will have to give written permission for their children to participate in sports activities once these are allowed.

KUALA LUMPUR: The government has decided to allow sports and co-curricular activities in schools from Sept 1 onwards, Senior Minister for Security Ismail Sabri Yaakob said today.

In a press conference at Parliament, he said parents would have to provide a written letter of permission allowing their children to participate in these activities.

SOPs include a capacity limit for shower and changing rooms and physical distancing of one to three metres for static activities and three to five metres for dynamic activities.

Ismail said the health ministry had also said the psychology of students could be affected if they were forced to stay in class all day without participating in any outdoor activities.

“That is why we will soon be allowing them to conduct activities outside, but under strict SOPs. By Sept 1, the full detailed SOP will be made available on the National Security Council (NSC) and education ministry’s websites,” he said.

He added that these activities must comply with the guidelines prepared by the NSC as well as the health, education and youth and sports ministries.

Ismail said Putrajaya had also approved the guidelines for the teaching of technical and vocational subjects, which will involve 89 vocational colleges as well as certain secondary and technical secondary schools.

The full SOPs, which will be made available online from Sept 1, will include a limit on the number of students based on the size of the room, and the frequent cleaning and sanitising of equipment.

Meanwhile, the police arrested 93 people yesterday for flouting the recovery movement control order (RMCO). Seven of them were remanded, four of whom were granted bail, while 82 others were fined.

Their offences included participation in activities that made physical distancing difficult, breaching SOPs and failing to wear face masks.

Three of them breached their quarantine period, while one was detained after flouting quarantine SOPs, including cutting off the quarantine bracelet.

Police also detained seven migrants at roadblocks yesterday for immigration offences.

Ismail reminded state governments that they are required to refer to Putrajaya before making any changes of their own to RMCO SOPs.

He noted that some states had decided not to allow certain business and social activities although these were permitted under Putrajaya’s SOPs.

“The same goes for declaring enhanced MCOs in a locality. State governments do not have a specific act that allows them to do so and the state’s decision can be challenged in court,” he said.

For Malaysians wanting to return to the country from abroad, he encouraged them to register their information with the National Disaster Management Agency (Nadma), including their preferred quarantine centre, before making the journey back.

He said Nadma would create an information portal to process these registrations.

He added that those undergoing mandatory quarantine would be allowed to order food online. However, they will be required to sign a letter of undertaking to assume responsibility if, for example, the food were to give them food poisoning.