Only the fully vaxxed allowed in temples and cemeteries this Deepavali

PETALING JAYA: This Deepavali, only fully vaccinated individuals will be allowed to go to temples and cemeteries, or to carry out home visits, says the National Unity Ministry.

Meanwhile, dine-in activities at temples and parades held in conjunction with the festival of lights will not be allowed, the ministry said in a statement yesterday.

Religious activities and prayers at non-Muslim houses of worship in states that have transitioned to Phase Three and Four of the National Recovery Plan (NRP), will be allowed for fully vaccinated individuals.

The number of people in attendance must be based on the size of the premises.

For states in Phase Three, the duration of such activities can take place from 6am to 2pm, and 4pm to 10pm, while timing for states in Phase Four of the NRP is at the discretion of the respective premises.

However, no dine-in activities are permitted at the temples for states in both phases; only packed foods can be distributed.

According to the ministry, general activities such as parades held in conjunction with the celebration of the Deepavali festival are not allowed while bazaars are subject to the approval of local authorities.

“Parade activities are not allowed. Deepavali bazaars are allowed but subject to the approval and monitoring of local authorities.

“Home visits are only allowed for fully vaccinated individuals, in line with the interstate travel approval.

“Visits to the cemetery are also only permitted for fully vaccinated individuals according to the standard operating procedures (SOP) on non-Muslim burial in the respective phases of the NRP,” it said.

The statement added that National Unity Minister Datuk Halimah Mohamed Sadique also called upon all those celebrating the festival in the new normal to adhere to the set SOP of wearing face masks, practising good hygiene and observing physical distancing.

The SOP for the celebration of Deepavali, which falls on Nov 4 this year, were approved in a Special Committee on Pandemic Management meeting.

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