Non-Muslim Houses of Worship Can Reopen, At One-Third Capacity

  • 15 Jun 2020

The government has further loosened restrictions imposed on non-Muslims houses of worship, under the Recovery Movement Control Order (RMCO). 

Some 5,230 non-Muslim houses of worship nationwide can now reopen, provided they are not in the red zone (areas with more than 40 active COVID-19 cases), senior minister (security cluster) Ismail Sabri Yaakob told his daily press briefing today. 

The houses of worship must also operate at one-third of their normal capacity, he added. 

Under the previous Conditional MCO (CMCO), only 174 non-Muslim houses of worship in green zones areas with zero active COVID-19 cases were allowed to reopen, with only 30 people at one time. 

According to Ismail, the SOPs of the reopening under the RMCO is still subject to approval by the state governments. 

Under the new rules, the non-Muslim houses of worship may operate according to their normal hours, but strictly follow social distancing procedures. 

Religious processions and feasts are still banned. 

The country is currently under the Recovery Movement Control Order (RMCO) until August 31. 

Under the RMCO, almost all social and economic sectors are allowed to reopen, subject to strict adherence to the SOPs.

These include morning and night markets, food trucks, and food courts, among others. The domestic tourism sector was also reopened and activities like visiting museums and filming, were allowed to resume. 

However, pubs, nightclubs, reflexology centres and theme parks are to remain closed, and gathering for feasts and for religious purposes are still prohibited. 

Overseas travel is also included in the no-go list. 

As of yesterday, 8,453 people have been affected by COVID-19 in Malaysia, and 121 people have died. 

Globally, the infection and death tally have surpassed 8 million and 435,000, respectively.

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