The reopening of Pangkor Island is, however, subject to the National Security Council's approval as the area has not reached its target of fully-vaccinated adults, of at least 8,026 people out of the total population of 11,500.

Standard operating procedures (SOPs) for fully-vaccinated individuals in Sabah will be enforced on 21 September 2021 (Tuesday) instead of 15 September (Wednesday) this week, Minister for Local Government and Housing Masidi Manjun has said. This will affect movement restrictions for employees and customers in the trade and distribution sectors, as well as restaurants and supermarkets, as they are required to be vaccinated to be within the premises.

According to a Borneo Post report, this decision was made because the government aimed to have 60% of the adult population in Sabah vaccinated. However, as of Sunday (12 September), Minister Manjun shared that the percentage of adult population vaccinated is only at 52%. As such, the SOPs will only begin once the state reaches its target.

The Minister added that there was also a delay among employees in the trade and distribution sectors, restaurants and supermarkets in getting their second dose of vaccine, particularly for those taking AstraZeneca. Thus, the new enforcement date of the SOPs acts as a grace period for these employers, as "some of their workers are not fully inoculated."

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In separate news, Pangkor Island is the latest area that will reopen to tourists who are fully-vaccinated. Subject to the government's approval, the area will join the Federal Territory of Labuan and Langkawi Island, Kedah from 1 November 2021. This was announced by Perak Housing, Local Government and Tourism Committee Chairwoman Nolee Ashilin Mohammed Radzi, who is also part of the Perak Executive Council.

Per Bernama's report, she said the decision is subject to the approval of the National Security Council (Majlis Keselamatan Negara, or MKN), as Pangkor Island's target of fully-vaccinated adults still has not been fulfilled.

“Based on the latest information received, only 87 individuals of the 8,026 residents including tour operators have not been vaccinated due to health problems or are undergoing quarantine as they have been in close contacts or were infected with Covid-19.

"To achieve herd immunity at Pangkor Island, at least 8,026 people of the island’s total population of 11,500 must be fully vaccinated," Chairwoman Ashilin said.

Image / 123RF

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