Entertainment industry to reopen for fully vaccinated under NRP’s Phase One from Thursday (Sept 9)


PETALING JAYA: Beginning Thursday (Sept 9), the creative industry will be reopened to fully vaccinated Malaysians in states with Phase One status under the National Recovery Plan (NRP).

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob said the activities allowed were indoor busking and hotel lounge performances as well as the reopening of cinemas with a 50% capacity limit.

Other entertainment activities allowed are recorded broadcasts and studio live broadcasts, subject to 30% fully vaccinated audience capacity.

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He said filming in and outside the studio for fully vaccinated individuals would be allowed, as well as live performances including musicals, theatres and comedies in the presence of a fully vaccinated audience with an audience capacity of 30%.

"Art exhibition, museums and art galleries will be allowed for fully vaccinated individuals by appointment and it is subjected to a capacity limit of 30%.

"The relaxation in the standard operating procedures (SOPs) for the entertainment sector is set to benefit more than one million Malaysians, including artists and workers in the industry.

"This relaxation will also benefit more than 19,000 companies in the creative sector," he said in a statement on Tuesday (Sept 7).

Ismail Sabri said the government decided to relax the SOP after several states had achieved herd immunity status, where 80% of their adult population had been fully vaccinated.

"The creative industry has contributed 2% or RM29bil to the Gross Domestic Product in 2019.

"Aside from allowing more than one million artists and workers in the creative sector to resume working, the relaxation of the SOP is also expected to revive the national creative sector that was badly affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.

"This will also revive all programmes and initiatives by the Communications and Multimedia Ministry through the National Film Development Body (Finas), MyCreative Ventures and the Cultural Economy Development Agency (Cendana)," he said.

Ismail Sabri added that the relaxation of the SOP for the creative industry reflected the government's continuous efforts in stimulating the economy.

He also urged workers in the industry to always follow the SOP in order to avoid any unwanted risks as the nation heads towards the endemic phase in October.

"The government remains committed to seeking the best approach that will ensure national economic recovery for the wellbeing of Keluarga Malaysia," he added.

The Malaysian Association of Film Exhibitors (Mafe) had last Wednesday (Sept 1) asked the government to consider allowing cinemas to resume operation for those who were fully vaccinated.

Mafe estimated that cinema operators were now incurring losses of more than RM600mil after cinemas were closed more than a year ago in March 2020, affecting over 20,000 workers in the industry.

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