Ready for a deserving break

Happy holidays: Fathi Ahmad, his wife Karen Karim and his son Fahim taking a wefie during ​their staycation. — CHAN BOON KAI/The Star

GEORGE TOWN: A couple who has been fully vaccinated has taken the opportunity to reward their children with a weekend “staycation”.

Investment company assistant vice-president Fathi Ahmad Shah, 50, said his children, aged between nine and 17, had been cooped up at home since the third movement control order was implemented in June.

“As adults, my wife and I can still go out to run errands and buy groceries but due to the rise in positive Covid-19 cases, we did not allow our children to step out of the house for a few months.

“Since my wife, my 80-year-old mother-in-law and I are fully vaccinated, we decided to have a weekend staycation at Shangri-La Rasa Sayang in Batu Ferringhi.

“We promised our children to reward them with a pleasant staycation if they were obedient at home.

“Since the resort is big with a huge outdoor area, we decided to bring them here for the weekend,” he said.

“Although the facilities are closed, we could still access the beach and garden area.

“The resort is spacious and not crowded at all, we felt safe and comfortable enough for our children to roam around,” he added.

Fathi Ahmad said his children had adapted to the new norms.

“I always advise them to practise physical distancing, to always sanitise their hands and not to simply touch any surface.

“Although my children have not been vaccinated, I feel safe and protected bringing them on a staycation as I know that all staff and guests here have been vaccinated. Outsiders are not allowed.

“We had all our meals in our room and the staff told us that we can request them to sanitise our room at any time,” he added.

Fathi Ahmad said he hopes more hotels would provide deals to entice Malaysians.

Shangri-La’s Rasa Sayang Resort and Spa communications director Suleiman Tunku Abdul Rahman said they had been receiving many bookings and inquiries since the relaxation of the standard operating procedure in states under Phase Two of the National Recovery Plan.

“We are having a ‘Penang Lang’ offer for Penang residents to woo those who have completed 14 days after receiving their second dose, to enjoy a fabulous stay with us.

“Some facilities such as the golf course and tennis court are open to guests but on an appointment basis and by following the SOP.

“Upon check-in, guests will have to present the digital certificate on their MySejahtera app showing a period of at least 14 days after the second dose or 28 days after being jabbed with a single-dose vaccine.

“We adhere to strict hygiene and safety protocols including a frequent guestroom cleaning regime with hospital-grade disinfectant.

“After every guest checks out, the room will be kept vacant for a minimum of six hours before we begin cleaning and sanitisation with ultraviolet light technology and electrostatic spraying devices.”

Association of Tourism Attractions Penang chairman Ch’ng Huck Theng said the authorities should lay out plans and strategies to revive the tourism industry affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.

He added that 70% of the association’s members were now permanently or temporarily shut.

“What we urgently need is practical and proper advice from the government on allowing tourism attractions to reopen,” he said in a statement yesterday.

Ch’ng added that he welcomed the statement by Penang tourism and creative economy committee chairman Yeoh Soon Hin’s office, offering to assist in liaising with the Federal Government to allow the opening of outdoor and eco-attractions.

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