Gyms, indoor sports to reopen from June 15

Tournaments, competitions and sports events involving spectators are still prohibited to prevent mass gatherings

by HARIZAH KAMEL/ pic credit:

THE government has agreed to allow gyms and indoor sports facilities, such as badminton halls, various sports complexes and snooker centres, to reopen starting June 15.

Senior Minister (Security Cluster) Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob said operators of such facilities need to fill out a notification form beginning yesterday through the Ministry of International Trade and Industry’s (MITI) website for standard operating procedure (SOP) reference and monitoring purposes by the Youth and Sports Ministry (KBS).

He also said that during the Recovery Movement Control Order (RMCO), members of the public are allowed to perform non-contact sports in indoor or outdoor facilities starting June 15.

“Social distancing must be observed with at least one to three metres for static activities, such as weightlifting and treadmill running, and three to five metres for dynamic activities, such as football, hockey and rugby,” he said in his daily briefing yesterday.

Today is the last day of the Conditional MCO (CMCO) which will be replaced by the RMCO beginning tomorrow until Aug 31.

Ismail Sabri added that tournaments, competitions, and sports events which involve spectators are still prohibited during this phase to prevent mass gatherings.

“Water sports activities in swimming pools are also prohibited. KBS, the National Security Council and Health Ministry will discuss and coordinate the SOPs in greater detail before making a decision,” he said.

Meanwhile, he announced that the government will allow Malaysians to travel back and forth for work across the Causeway and be prepared to run Covid-19 tests if required by the Singapore government.

“The government is aware that the industrial sector in Singapore has begun operations and is seeking permission for Malaysian employees to commute to Singapore,” he said.

However, Ismail Sabri said the permission is still pending in a discussion between Wisma Putra with its Singaporean counterpart.

Separately, he said 60 people were arrested on June 7 for having defied the CMCO. Of the figure, 53 individuals were remanded and seven released on police bail.

Also, on June 7, a total of 291 Malaysians returned home and were quarantined, which brought the total number of Malaysians returning from overseas to 51,090.

“To date, 40,922 individuals have completed the mandatory quarantine period and are allowed to return home,” he said.

On another note, Ismail Sabri said state governments must conform to Act 342 during the RMCO or face legal actions for breaching the SOP.

This was in response to Penang Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow’s statement that the state will continue with the CMCO until a decision is made by the Penang Special Security Committee tomorrow.