AFTER months of being cooped up at home because of the movement control order (MCO), outdoor sports enthusiasts are now finally free to plan their next adventure.
And since the recovery MCO came into effect in June — enabling these activities to resume — they have had to adhere to standard operating procedures (SOP).
Engineer Siti Shafikah Mohamad Habib, 30, said she was excited to get back into diving and had no issues complying with the SOP.
“We are required to register ourselves and have our body temperature checked before heading to the dive centre.
“We are encouraged to bring our own equipment, such as diving gear and mouthpiece, ” she told StarMetro.
“However, if we are using equipment from the centre, we need to wash and sanitise it ourselves.”
Siti Shafikah said participants would be briefed on the SOP by the dive master before each session.
“The number of divers per session has been reduced according to the SOP.
“During my trip in August, the dive master allowed only six divers in a boat. Previously, it was up to 12 divers, ” she said, but noted that the number of participants also depended on the size of the boat.
She further said that after a diving session was completed, all equipment would be cleaned and kept in a store.
“Divers are not allowed to leave any personal equipment in wet areas and are required to sanitise the items themselves after each session.
“While following the regulations may seem difficult to some, for me it is a small inconvenience, considering the beautiful view we get to enjoy beneath the sea, ” she added.
According to the Government, sports and recreational activities without bodily contact at indoor and outdoor facilities are allowed as long as participants strictly followed the SOP, including taking of temperature and physical distancing.Mohammad Zakwan Kamarul Zaman, who enjoys wall climbing, finds it easy to adhere to the SOP.
“Rock and wall climbing does not require close contact so the SOP is not a burden.
“We also provide basic equipment like shoes for free to anyone who wishes to give it a try.
“They, however, need to clean and sanitise the items after using them, ” said the 26-year-old.Zakwan, who is an adviser to the Ipoh Climbing Community, said the group would hold the activity on weekends.
“We also have sessions on weekdays if there are requests, ” he said.
Environment tour guide Muhammad Mansoor, 35, who leads people on hiking trips, said the SOP had not hindered participants.
“However, I have to constantly remind them about adhering to the SOP, as some tend to forget.“More so when they have reached the peak of a hill or a mountain and want to celebrate their achievement, ” he said.
Mansoor believed the SOP should remain even after the MCO had ended.
“Right now, a guide can only apply for permits for 10 hikers compared to 12 before.
“We hope the Government can set a limit for the permits and cap it at 12 per guide after the MCO ends, ” he said.
“That way, not only will participants continue to maintain physical distancing, they will also get the real experience of hiking and enjoy the beautiful surroundings.”