Ismail Sabri reminds states to follow NSC SOP, after Sabah okays dine-in during lockdown

Senior Minister (Security Cluster) Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob speaks during a press conference at Hospital Angkatan Tentera Tuanku Mizan, Kuala Lumpur June 29, 2021. — Picture by Firdaus Latif
Senior Minister (Security Cluster) Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob speaks during a press conference at Hospital Angkatan Tentera Tuanku Mizan, Kuala Lumpur June 29, 2021. — Picture by Firdaus Latif

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KUALA LUMPUR, June 29 — The Sabah government has been told to follow the same standard operating procedures (SOP) set by the National Security Council (NSC) while the country is in lockdown against the Covid-19 pandemic.

Defence Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob made the clarification today, a day after Sabah Chief Minister Datuk Seri Hajiji Noor declared the state will allow certain economic and social activities to resume. 

He added that this was also conveyed to the Sabah representative in yesterday’s NSC meeting.

“We have decided that there must be a standard SOP for the entire nation, so states should not make their own SOPs which differ,” Ismail told reporters during a visit to Hospital Angkatan Tentera Tuanku Mizan in Wangsa Maju here.

“They can tighten their SOPs, but not loosen them as it goes against central decision. 

“Again, I stress the need for all the states to be uniform in their SOPs, as part of the effort to curb Covid-19,” Ismail added.

Hajiji had yesterday said dine-in would be allowed in Sabah again from today as well as certain sports and recreational activities like golf, fishing and cycling.

This resulted in confusion earlier today when several coffee shops around Lintas, Kepayan and Penampang opened for business and allowed customers to have their meals there only to be told by patrolling Health officials that they must stop doing so.

Similarly, the Sarawak Disaster Management Committee announced yesterday that bookshops and stationery stores in the state would be allowed to open for business from 6am to 10pm from today but banned people from being in public areas from midnight to 5am.

The NSC has so far allowed food outlets extend their operating hours from 6am to 10pm instead of 8am to 8pm. Dine-in is still barred until Phase Three of the National Recovery Plan, Ismail said previously.

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