COVID-19: MICE sector and spas to resume operations from Jul 1, says Malaysia Senior Minister 

COVID-19: MICE sector and spas to resume operations from Jul 1, says Malaysia Senior Minister 

Ismail Sabri Yaakob
Malaysia's Senior Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob giving a daily briefing on Jun 8, 2020. (Photo: Bernama) 

KUALA LUMPUR: All tourism sub-sectors in Malaysia will be reopened from Jul 1, said Senior Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob on Friday (Jun 26). 

This includes the Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Exhibitions (MICE) industry, travel and trade fairs, as well as spas and reflexology centres. 

However, capacity limits will still apply, with only 250 people allowed in for MICE events as well as travel and trade fairs at any one time, he said during a press conference.

READ: The economic impact of a pandemic - ‘Without COVID-19, we would be doing okay’ 

Visitors would also have to download the MySejahtera contact tracing app to enter such events, the senior minister added.

Organisers will have to ensure that standard operating procedures (SOPs) such as visitor registration, temperature checks, entry control and social distancing are adhered to. 

Spas, wellness and reflexology centres would have to adhere to SOPs set by the National Security Council and the Health Ministry, such as registration and temperature checks, masks and preparing hand sanitiser.

Patrons to such places would also need to register on the MySejahtera app. 

He explained that for some, such as blind masseurs, which numbered nearly 3,000, they had lost their source of income throughout the movement control order (MCO).

“As the number of  COVID-19 positive cases have gone down, the graph is also curving down, so the authorities have agreed to let them resume operation,” Mr Ismail Sabri said. 

However, he added, only Malaysians will be allowed to work in this subsector, not foreign nationals. Additionally, the spas and massage centres will need to register with the authorities and employees will have to undergo COVID-19 screening before permission is given. 

READ: Malaysia’s movement control order to go into ‘recovery phase' until Aug 31, says PM Muhyiddin

Interstate travel has been allowed since the start of the MCO’s recovery phase on Jun 10, as part of reopening the country’s economy. Certain states have also undertaken initiatives to boost domestic tourism. 

The recovery phase will last until Aug 31.

Earlier this week, it was announced that weddings and social events, capped at 250 attendees, would be permitted from Jul 1.

During the Friday press conference, Mr Ismail Sabri also said that the Education Ministry has established SOPs for tuition centres.

“As such, the special ministerial committee has agreed to allow tuition centres, special education schools and other private education institutes to resume operations, but the date and SOP details will be announced by the Education Ministry itself,” he added.

Source: CNA/vt(aw)