Minister Criticises Tourist Spots for Banning Tourists from Visiting

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Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister Datuk Mohamaddin Ketapi has lambasted popular tourist sites that have closed their doors to tourists, in light of the novel coronavirus outbreak.

He said the action of some owners or operators of tourist spots who have declared their locations are off-limits to tourists was “wrong” and not good for the country’s image, adding that he would write to them to ask that they reverse their decisions.

Mohamaddin pointed out that foreign tourists who were allowed to roam around the country have been confirmed to be clear of the virus that originated from Wuhan, China, and that those suspected to be infected would have been quarantined.

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“We will write to (the operators of) these tourist spots and tell them please, don’t stop the tourists from visiting these important places,” he told a press conference today.

The Putra Mosque in Putrajaya and Masjid Negara in Kuala Lumpur had announced on Sunday and Monday, respectively, that they were closed temporarily to tourists. It is believed that the move was in response to concerns over the Wuhan flu outbreak.

The two very popular tourist spots will be opened only for prayers.

However, Mohamaddin saw no reason for such measures. He pointed out that foreigners would have been screened at all international entry points.

“I don’t think healthy people can spread diseases around. No need for precautions. We (government) have checked (arriving tourists),” he said.

The virus, also known as the 2019-nCoV, has affected thousands of people worldwide, with the majority of the cases in China where it originated.

On Monday, the government announced that it would temporarily suspend the no visa entry, visa on arrival, e-visa and manual visas for Chinese citizens from the Hubei province and its capital Wuhan city. – The Sun Daily