Khairy: Protocols for Hari Raya celebrations

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Handshakes will be allowed beginning May 1, says Khairy Jamaluddin.

The Health Minister, however, advised the public to practice good hand hygiene by washing and sanitising their hands after doing so.

“Do not touch your face after shaking hands as well,” he said.

Khairy also said all activities are now allowed to operate at full capacity beginning Sunday (May 1).

He added that physical distancing between groups and individuals was also no longer required.

“However, physical distancing is still advised in locations where a large number of individuals are unmasked,” he said at a press conference on Wednesday (April 27).

He added that individuals can now enter premises regardless of vaccination status.

He said premise owners no longer have to check the vaccination status of patrons but instead check whether the person is Covid-19 positive or not.

“Those undergoing quarantine and travellers who are not fully vaccinated are, however, still not allowed entry,” he said.

Protocols for the Hari Raya celebrations include allowing full capacity for Aidilfitri special prayers and also open houses to be held.

Khairy said the congregation must always put on a face mask while being in the mosque or surau, and while in prayer.

“Covid-19 positive individuals are not allowed to participate in solat sunat Aidilfitri, and individuals who are symptomatic are not encouraged to participate.

Faihan Ghanni/The Star

“Indoor Hari Raya celebrations or open houses can be organised but attendees must put on a face mask. Positive individuals cannot attend and those with symptoms are not encouraged to attend,” he said.

The government would also allow “takbir raya” in mosques and surau, as well as from house-to-house with face masks being worn.

“It is encouraged that only individuals who show no symptoms participate in takbir raya, and positive cases are not allowed to join.”

Individuals who are not Covid-19 positive would also be allowed to visit graves, while putting on the face mask.

“These protocols are as a general guideline. However, it is subject to regulations and standard operating procedures (SOP) by the state religious authorities.

“This Aidilfitri is a blessing for us to celebrate with our families, relatives and friends after two years battling the Covid-19 pandemic.

“Therefore, in transitioning to the endemic phase, it is our responsibility to ensure that the festivity does not end in harm,” Khairy added.

He said this freedom did not mean that the country had won the war against the virus, and the public should conduct self-tests before returning to their hometowns to protect those who were vulnerable.

Unvaccinated children and the elderly, especially those with comorbidities, were at higher risk of getting severe Covid-19 infection, he reminded.

“We are still in a pandemic, so we still need to be alert and be careful. The Health Ministry will continue to monitor developments internationally, especially on new variants that may impact pandemic management.

“But insyaAllah, (the situation is) controlled. After two years of not being able to return to their hometowns, the Health Ministry has done our best, so go home and enjoy Hari Raya.”