KUALA LUMPUR (Feb 7): The National Security Council (NSC) has approved new standard operating procedures (SOPs) that will allow reunion dinners on the eve of Chinese New Year among members of different households.

In a statement today, the council said up to 15 family members residing in a 10km radius within the same district, will be allowed to gather for their reunion dinners on Feb 11.

Meanwhile, religious activities will only be allowed at temples on Feb 11, Feb 12 and Feb 19, subject to the following SOPs:

1. The number of devotees at a temple should not exceed 30 people at any time, with the wearing of masks and physical distancing mandatory.
2. Each prayer session is limited to 30 minutes, followed by another 30 minutes of sanitisation activities, before the next prayer session.
3. Prayers are allowed from 6am to 2pm; there will be eight prayer sessions per day.
4. For Hokkiens, prayer activities on Feb 19 are allowed in house compounds according to Chinese New Year traditions.

According to the council, officers appointed under Section 3 of the Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases Act 1988 will make checks to ensure the SOPs are adhered to.

"National Unity Minister Datuk Halimah Mohamed Sadique urges the Chinese community in Malaysia to celebrate this year with new norms, constantly follow the SOPs set, maintain their personal hygiene and ensure physical distancing, in our efforts to break the chain of Covid-19 infections in Malaysia," it said.

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