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Religious activities at non-Muslim houses of worship allowed with new SOP

PUTRAJAYA (June 15): Carrying out of religious activities in non-Muslim places of worship is permitted except in red zone areas during the recovery movement control order (RMCO) in compliance with the new standard operating procedures (SOPs) and subject to state government approval.

The Ministry of National Unity (KPN) said the new SOP for religious activities in non-Muslim houses of worship was agreed upon in a special ministerial meeting regarding the implementation of the MCO today.

“The SOP is in accordance with guidelines provided by the National Security Council and the Ministry of Health (MoH),” KPN said in a statement today.

The ministry said the places of worship are allowed to operate with a capacity limit of one-third of the number of devotees for the hall or place of worship with social distancing being practised.

“It is time to operate again as usual but in the new normal with self-discipline and new habits,” KPN said, adding that activities in houses of worship are also subject to MoH rules as provided under the Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases Act 1988 (Act 342).

KPN said activities such as religious processions, feasts and big gatherings which are difficult to control are prohibited.

“Committee members of places of worship, religious leaders and devotees are advised to adopt new habits and self-discipline, such as practising social distancing, wearing face masks, and washing of hands frequently with soap and using hand sanitisers,” the statement said.

Senior Minister (Security Cluster) Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob (pictured), also the defence minister, at a press conference today said that in the meeting, it was agreed that 5,230 houses of worship will be allowed to operate nationwide.

“The SOPs set (in today's meeting) include downloading the MySejahtera app or providing information manually,” he said.

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