By Mei Kuan
In conjunction with Deepavali which will be celebrated on November 4, the Special Committee on Pandemic Management via a meeting has set the standard operating procedures (SOPs) for the celebration according to the phases of the National Recovery Plan.
The media statement posted on the Facebook page of the Ministry of National Unity yesterday (October 28) listed the SOPs for the Deepavali celebration at non-Islamic houses of worship for states under Phase 3 and 4.
For states under Phase 3, religious activities and prayers at non-Islamic houses of worship are permitted for fully vaccinated individuals only, with the limit of attendance subject to the size of premises in addition to physical distancing of no less than 1 metre.
Meanwhile, the permitted time frame for religious activities and prayers are from 6am till 2pm and 4pm till 10pm.
The distribution of food at the houses of worship is permitted via packed food only while dine-in is not allowed.
The general activities in conjunction with the celebration are subject to the following terms:
- parade activities are not allowed
- Deepavali bazaar is permitted subject to approval and control of local authorities
- visits to family homes are permitted for fully vaccinated individuals only in line with the interstate travel permission
- visits to graves are permitted for fully vaccinated individuals only according to SOPs for the management of non-Muslims funerals
The Minister of National Unity, Datuk Halimah Mohamed Sadique urged those celebrating in the new norm to always abide by the SOPs, put on face masks, practise good personal hygiene and ensure physical distancing in order to break the chain of COVID-19 transmissions.