PETALING JAYA (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - Malaysia's creative industry will be reopened from Thursday (Sept 9) to fully vaccinated Malaysians in states accorded phase one coronavirus status under the National Recovery Plan (NRP), Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob said on Tuesday.
Datuk Seri Ismail said the activities allowed were indoor busking and hotel lounge performances, as well as the reopening of cinemas with a 50 per cent capacity limit.
Other permitted entertainment activities are recorded broadcasts and studio live broadcasts, subject to a 30 per cent capacity with a fully vaccinated audience.
He said filming in and outside the studio for fully vaccinated individuals would be allowed, as well as live performances including musicals, theatre shows and comedies in the presence of a fully vaccinated audience, with an audience capacity of 30 per cent.
"Art exhibition, museums and art galleries will be allowed for fully vaccinated individuals by appointment and it is subjected to a capacity limit of 30 per cent," said Mr Ismail.
"The relaxation in the standard operating procedures (SOPs) for the entertainment sector is set to benefit more than one million Malaysians, including artists and workers in the industry. This relaxation will also benefit more than 19,000 companies in the creative sector," he said in a statement.
Mr Ismail said the government decided to relax the SOP after several states achieved herd immunity status, where 80 per cent of their adult population had been fully vaccinated.
"The creative industry has contributed 2 per cent, or RM29 billion (S$9.4 billion), to the gross domestic product in 2019.
"Aside from allowing more than one million artists and workers in the creative sector to resume working, the relaxation of the SOP is also expected to revive the national creative sector that was badly affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.
"This will also revive all programmes and initiatives by the Communications and Multimedia Ministry through the National Film Development Body (Finas), MyCreative Ventures and the Cultural Economy Development Agency (Cendana)," he said.
Mr Ismail added that the relaxation of the SOP for the creative industry reflected the government's continuous efforts to stimulate the economy.
He also urged workers in the industry to always follow the SOP in order to avoid any unwanted risks as the nation heads towards the endemic phase in October.
"The government remains committed to seeking the best approach that will ensure national economic recovery for the well-being of Keluarga Malaysia," he added.
The Malaysian Association of Film Exhibitors last Wednesday asked the government to consider allowing cinemas to resume operations for those who were fully vaccinated.
The association estimated that cinema operators were now incurring losses of more than RM600 million after cinemas were closed more than a year ago in March 2020, affecting over 20,000 workers in the industry.