Deepavali SOP: Ministry says only fully vaccinated allowed at temples, cemeteries

A colourful kolam-inspired floral decoration brightens up the atmosphere at Pavilion Kuala Lumpur in conjunction with Deepavali, October 26, 2021. ― Picture by Hari Anggara
A colourful kolam-inspired floral decoration brightens up the atmosphere at Pavilion Kuala Lumpur in conjunction with Deepavali, October 26, 2021. ― Picture by Hari Anggara

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KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 28 — Only fully vaccinated individuals are allowed to go to temples and participate in religious activities in non-Muslim places of worship in conjunction with the Deepavali celebration on November 4.

The National Unity Ministry said the standard operating procedure (SOP) varies depending on the phase of the National Recovery Plan (PPN).

For the states in Phase Three and Four, religious activities and prayers at the houses of worship are allowed for fully vaccinated individuals with attendance capacity based on the size of the premises, taking into account physical distancing of not less than one metre.

“Such activities are allowed from 6am to 2pm and 4pm to 10pm. Only packed food is allowed to be distributed and no dine-in activities are permitted at the temples,” the ministry said in a statement today.

States that are in Phase Three of the PPN are Perlis, Kedah, Penang, Perak, Kelantan, Sabah and Sarawak. Meanwhile, Federal Territories of Putrajaya, Kuala Lumpur, Labuan, Selangor, Pahang, Negri Sembilan, Johor and Melaka are already in Phase Four.

The ministry also said that religious processions are also not allowed while Deepavali bazaars are permitted but subject to approval from the local authorities.

“Apart from that, home and cemetery visits are only allowed for fully vaccinated individuals,” the statement said.

It added that National Unity Minister Datuk Halimah Mohamed Sadique also called upon the Indian community celebrating the festival in the new norm to comply with the set SOPs such as wearing face masks, practising good hygiene and observing physical distancing to curb the spread of the Covid-19. — Bernama

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