GEORGE TOWN: Tourism groups in Penang have welcomed Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin’s announcement yesterday to allow the tourism industry to slowly reopen for fully vaccinated individuals.
The Malaysian Association of Hotels (MAH) Penang chairman Raj Kumar said that the announcement gave hope of recovery for the hotel industry which has been looking forward to reopening business.
However, he hoped that the federal government could provide clear and comprehensive guidelines on the eligibility to reopen business.
He pointed out that according to guidelines provided by the Ministry of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs, all employees and customers within restaurant premises must be fully vaccinated.
“If a similar rule applies to the hotel sector, would that mean all hotel staff members must have their second Covid-19 vaccine shot before hotels are allowed to reopen for the public?” he told Bernama today.
According to him, around 90 per cent of the hotel staff in Penang have received their first Covid-19 vaccine jab, but not more than 500 of the employees were fully vaccinated.
“We would want to reopen and ensure the best for public safety and security for our fully vaccinated guests, but we want to make sure that we are eligible to open in the first place,” he added.
The prime minister had said that tourism activities involving homestays and hotels in the same states are allowed from tomorrow, as long as the states are under Phase 2 and above of the National Recovery Plan.
Association of Tourism Attractions Penang (ATAP) chairman Ch’ng Huck Theng hoped that tourism attractions could also be included for reopening in the near future.
He suggested that outdoor-themed tourism attractions such as the Bird Park, Tropical Spice Garden and The Habitat be opened first to allow sports and recreational activities.
“As long as we are allowed to operate once more, we will always ensure that the attractions strictly abide by the standard operating procedure for Covid-19 prevention,” he said.-Bernama