KOTA KINABALU, Sept 30 — Nine districts, including Sandakan and Tawau will be left out of the travel zones in Sabah which begins tomorrow.

Sandakan and Tawau, the second and third largest districts after the state capital, are joined by Kinabatangan, Telupid, Tongod, Semporna, Papar, Nabawan and Kalabakan who have not yet reached a 60 per cent vaccination rate of its adult population.

“Kunak barely made it today,” said state Covid-19 spokesman Datuk Seri Masidi Manjun, adding that the nine districts will be considered “stand-alone” until they also reach the target vaccination rate.

The zoning system, introduced in March to spur economic activities regionally in the state, is a step above the district travel ban, and is being implemented again after months of a district lockdown to curb the pandemic.

Domestic tourism activities are open to those within the zones.

The zones this time are Kota Kinabalu, Penampang, Putatan, Tuaran, Ranau and Kota Belud in zone 1, Beaufort, Sipitang and Kuala Penyu in zone 2, Kudat, Kota Marudu, Pitas and Beluran in zone 3, Lahad Datu and Kunak in zone 4, and Keningau, Tambunan and Tenom in zone 5.

Masidi also said that the state will extend operating hours for all economic and sports activities until 10pm starting tomorrow.

Yesterday, he announced that most tourism activities may open together, and also extended business hours for all eateries as well as businesses like supermarkets, convenience stores and petrol stations.

He said this was in line with the state’s policy of opening up its economic sector as the vaccination rate increases.

The state’s data says it has vaccinated some 64.3 per cent of its adult population, or 1,773, 407 adults.

The Covid-19 daily cases are also in a downtrend, registering 993 new cases today, seven cases lower than yesterday.