Ismail Sabri: Festive home visits only allowed on first day of Hari Raya, Kaamatan, Gawai celebrations

Senior Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob said visiting on the first day of Hari Raya Aidilfitri, Pesta Kaamatan and Hari Gawai is limited to immediate family members. — Bernama pic
Senior Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob said visiting on the first day of Hari Raya Aidilfitri, Pesta Kaamatan and Hari Gawai is limited to immediate family members. — Bernama pic

KUALA LUMPUR, May 13 — Visiting during the coming Hari Raya Aidilfitri, Pesta Kaamatan and Hari Gawai will only be allowed on the first day of each celebration, said Senior Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob.

He said visiting on the first day of each celebration is limited to immediate family members.

“This follows the National Security Council (NSC) special meeting yesterday where the government decided to limit visits for the three celebrations,” he said.

However, Ismail Sabri stressed that the gathering cannot exceed 20 people in one day.

“The size of the house must also be taken into consideration. For example, if a flat unit is about 600 square feet, it will be too crowded for 20 people at one time without social distancing guidelines.

“We have to use discretion to only allow a few people at one time, but it must not exceed 20 people in a day.

“This will be part of the standard operating procedure (SOP) for Hari Raya, Pesta Kaamatan and Hari Gawai celebrations,” said Ismail Sabri during his daily press briefing today.

In Malaysia, Hari Raya Aidilfitri is expected to fall on May 24 and 25, while Pesta Kaamatan and Hari Gawai are celebrated on May 30 and June 1 respectively.

Thousands of Malaysians usually travel to their hometowns to be with their families during this time.

Ismail Sabri, who is also the defence minister, explained that the Covid-19 SOP must be observed at all times. This includes washing one’s hands regularly with soap, using hand sanitisers, encouraging the use of face masks and practising social distancing.

“Although the government has allowed visits during these festive occasions, it is the people who need to decide what is in their best interests,” he said, adding that holding an open house is prohibited under the Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases Act 1988 (Act 342).

Ismail Sabri said despite the easing of the conditional movement control order (CMCO) and the government giving permission for Hari Raya celebrations, the public must also avoid large gatherings.

He said the government hopes that the public will take it upon themselves to protect their family members, especially the vulnerable — the elderly and children — from Covid-19.

“We have to be responsible to protect ourselves and if we feel that we would like to just celebrate among family members living under the same roof, then it is your choice to do so,” said Ismail Sabri.

On Sunday, Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, when announcing that interstate travel for festivities is disallowed, said that visiting neighbours and relatives within the same state is permitted, with only 20 people allowed at the same place and time.

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