KUCHING: Sarawak will allow various economic activities to reopen on May 12 with strict compliance to standard operating procedures (SOP).
Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah said the SOP would be published in local newspapers for two days starting Sunday (May 10).
"We will also inform stakeholders on the SOP. They include a list of which activities are allowed to reopen and which are prohibited.
"There will be SOP for each category of economic activity that is allowed, including their opening hours," he said at the state disaster management committee's daily Covid-19 briefing here on Saturday (May 9).
Uggah said those who wanted to reopen their business only needed to notify their respective divisional disaster management committees, without having to apply for approval.
He said the committee made the decision to reopen economic activities after studying a report from the state Health Department which listed six criteria for consideration.
State health director Dr Chin Zin Hing said among the criteria were that the spread of Covid-19 and the number of imported cases be under control, the risk of an outbreak be minimised, prevention measures be put in place, the public be educated to adapt to the new normal, and the situation be within state's health capacity to manage.
As of now, he said, Sarawak's weekly incidence rate of Covid-19 was 1.38 per 100,000 population, similar to the national rate of 1.32.
Meanwhile, Uggah said the decision to reopen the economy did not mean that the state government was neglecting public health.
"Both the health and economic aspects were taken into consideration in the interest of everyone.
"Hence we have come up with strict SOP to ensure that prevention measures are complied with.
"Enforcement agencies will monitor the situation to ensure compliance with the SOP and tough action will be taken against those who fail to comply," he said.
However, Uggah said the ban on inter-district travel still remained in force.
He said police would continue to man roadblocks at district boundaries, and those who needed to travel between districts still needed to apply for permits from the police.