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Malaysia relaxes Chinese New Year COVID-19 rules, permits larger reunion dinners and house visits

Malaysia relaxes Chinese New Year COVID-19 rules, permits larger reunion dinners and house visits

A shopper walks in a hallway with lantern decorations for Chinese New Year celebrations at a shopping mall in Kuala Lumpur. (File photo: AFP/Mohd Rasfan)

PUTRAJAYA: Malaysia on Wednesday (Jan 19) announced more relaxed COVID-19 guidelines for the upcoming Chinese New Year celebrations, including allowing family reunion dinners and house-to-house visits.

Unlike last year, when reunion dinners were limited to only 15 family members living within a 10km radius, no limit was specified for this year's reunion festivities scheduled to take place on Jan 31.

National Unity Minister Halimah Mohamed Sadique said Chinese New Year open houses, however, were not allowed.

Chinese New Year receptions will be permitted, but are limited to invited guests and only within 50 per cent of the venue's capacity.

Receptions organised by companies or associations must be held in a hall or a restaurant, she said during a press conference. These receptions also cannot be held in the open or over a long period of time, like open houses.

Halimah added that prayers at temples would also be allowed on Feb 1 and Feb 2, subject to full compliance with the pandemic special operating procedures (SOPs) under Phase 4 of the National Recovery Plan.

Special night prayers for Hokkien clans on Feb 8 and Feb 9, as well as other religious activities, are only permitted in the housing compounds of devotees. 

Chap Goh Mei prayers at temples on Feb 15 were also given the green light. 

Also allowed were lion and dragon dances, subject to safety measures set by the creative industry.

"The SOPs are prepared for the safety of the people and those celebrating Chinese New Year," she added.

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Source: Agencies/Bernama/ga(zl)


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