Coronavirus: Malaysia to allow weddings, social events from July 1 with maximum of 250 people

People walking along a shopping area in Kuala Lumpur on May 21, 2020. PHOTO: AFP

PUTRAJAYA (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - Malaysians will be allowed to organise and attend social events, including wedding receptions, engagement parties, reunion gatherings and religious events from July 1.

However, Senior Minister for Security Ismail Sabri Yaakob said standard operating procedures (SOPs) such as the maximum number of attendees at 250 people, social distancing and registration of guests must be followed by those planning for social gatherings.

"We have decided to put a limit to how long these events can be held, which is between three and five hours. We believe the time given is sufficient to host events, " he said in his regular briefing on Wednesday (June 24).

Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri said that food can be served buffet-style provided there are servers to manage the food, rather than the guests taking the food themselves.

Guests will have to have their temperature checked before entering the event venue and register via the MySejahtera contact tracing app or record attendance manually.

"Those with symptoms such as cough and flu are advised not to attend social gatherings and it is best if everyone present has a face mask on," he said.

Mr Ismail Sabri said while social events will now be allowed, organisers should not host one if they feel that they cannot control the crowd and ensure social distancing among guests.

"Remember that police are monitoring and checking to ensure the SOPs are followed. If you can't be sure that you can handle the crowd, then it is best not to organise social events, " he said.

He said the government was slowly relaxing regulations put in place to curb the spread of the coronavirus but pointed out that this needed to be done in stages.

As such, domestic helpers employed in Malaysia who are stuck in their home countries are not allowed to return yet.

"For now, we are not allowing this. We will discuss this, and when the time comes, they can return to work here," said Mr Ismail Sabri.

He said the country had not opened its gates to allow foreigners employed in most sectors to return, particularly those from high-risk countries, adding that this includes maids.

"It is not that we are stopping people from coming forever, but we need to do things slowly and in stages," he said.

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