Another quiet and muted Raya holiday season

Joggers can visit Penang Botanic Gardens but family outings are not allowed.

WITH the country under the movement control order (MCO), Hari Raya Aidilfitri has been a quiet and muted affair for the second year running.

Public parks are open but their exercise equipment are off limits to visitors.

The beaches remain open but no picnics are allowed, including for those staying at the beach hotels, said Penang Island City councillor Wong Yuee Harng.

“The movement control order does not say people can’t go to the beach.

“One can take a walk or jog but family picnics are not allowed.

“Anyone caught in group activities will be fined.

“Individual activities such as jogging, cycling and exercising are allowed at community parks with a 1.5m physical distancing in place.

“It is best for all to stay home rather than risk a penalty or be infected with the Covid-19 virus, ” said Wong.

Penang Botanic Gardens and Penang City Park are also open to joggers but family outings are not allowed.

Shangri-La’s Rasa Sayang Resort and Spa and Golden Sands Hotel communications director Suleiman Tunku Abdul Rahman said there were bookings during the Hari Raya holidays.

“However, hotel guests will not be allowed to use the swimming pool, spa, gymnasium, go for massages or dine in at the restaurants.

“We provide room dining services, and a stroll in our garden is still possible under stringent standard operating procedures.

“People still come here to have a change of environment but with the MCO in effect, we do not want to take any chances and guests must adhere to all the rules,” he said.

Penang youth and sports committee chairman Soon Lip Chee said it would be better for the people to stick to the community parks in their neighbourhoods rather than public parks.

“Less travelling will always be better.

“In community parks, you can go home immediately after a jog or exercise.“At public parks, many people meet friends and will sit around and chat, which is not allowed under the MCO, ” he said.

Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow said it would be better to stay home and stay safe.

“This week is crucial to break the chain of infection by total isolation, curbing social activities and reducing human contact.

“It is better to deprive yourself of your freedom for a week or two rather than face a prolonged period living in fear, ” said Chow, when contacted.

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