KUALA LUMPUR: The country will see further easing of restrictions as the current number of Covid-19 prevention SOPs will be reduced from 181 to just 10 from next month.
Senior Minister (Defence) Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein said in a media conference today in Parliament that the National Security Council (MKN) chaired by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob had reviewed the set of SOPs and they will be implemented in the next two or three weeks.
“The 10 SOPs will be announced by the prime minister soon,“ he told the media.
“These new SOPs that have been agreed in principle by the Special Committee on Pandemic Management chaired by the Prime Minister and four of us (including Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin, Communications and Multimedia Minister Tan Sri Annuar Musa, and Finance Minister Tunku Zafrul Aziz) have been tasked to look into the details (of the SOPs),“ he said.
“This is going to be the way forward for our country to shift from pandemic to endemic after the SOPs are announced officially,“ he said.
“We are going to reduce the existing SOPs and it will take a bit of a time but it will be a lot easier for the public to understand. The 10 SOPs will be announced by the prime minister soon,“ he added.
“The key ministers have advised me to have a meeting, for example with Tourism and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Nancy Shukri to look at the Langkawi project as the island will reopen in the next two days (Sept 16). We will look at Langkawi’s success to make any decision on tourism,“ he said.
The travel bubble initiative in Langkawi will serve as a benchmark for opening up more domestic tourist destinations.
Additionally he said he will look at the success rate of Langkawi (whether the public adheres strictly to the SOPs) and if the project fails, the government will not open other travel bubbles.
“It is up to the tourism ministry to prove to us that they can take it from one Langkawi to another,“ he said.
He also pointed out that it is time for the Communications and Multimedia Ministry to coordinate this, provided that the information is aligned (across all existing ministries’ platforms) , consistent and easier for the public to understand.
When asked if the government will lift or ease inter-state travel restrictions, Hishammuddin said it is not easy to implement that as he has to look at the risks involved.
“But perhaps MoH can look at easing it since they know mental health and well-being is also a consideration since we have been under lockdown for a long period,“ he said.