With Sarawak fully entering Phase 3 of the National Recovery Plan (NRP) on Oct 1, the State is all set to welcome back domestic tourists to its many places of attractions.
A press release by the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture Sarawak (MTAC) states that the following tourism activities are allowed starting Oct 1, 2021:
- Accommodation in hotels and homestays including facilities in hotel premises and homestays such as surau, swimming pools, gymnasiums, lounges, halls, business events, tourism and cultural events subject to the relevant SOPs under Phase 3 NRP issued by MKN and relevant Ministries and agencies.
- Activities at tourism attractions
- Arts, culture, and heritage premises (Museums, cultural villages, arts/craft galleries, cultural stage shows, etc)
- Special interest tourism activities (golfing, scuba diving, snorkelling, cycling, angling, yachting, etc) and eco-tourism activities (bird watching, caving, mountain climbing, white-water rafting, hiking, jungle trekking, etc).
- Spa, reflexology, massage centres and pedicure/manicure services complying with SOPs issued by the Ministry of Local Government and Housing Sarawak.
To ensure a safe and worry-free travel within Sarawak in the new norm, the State Disaster Management Committee (SDMC) has released a Sarawak Domestic Tourism SOP highlighting everything you need to know from pre-arrival into Sarawak to departure back to your respective hometowns.
Important to note are the entry requirements, which highlight among other police permit for inter State/District and “enterSarawak” approval for inter-State travel, vaccination status, COVID-19 test results and other supporting documents.
The SOP also stresses on important things to take note of during one’s stay in Sarawak and while visiting various places of attraction within the State, and what to do should one displays symptoms of COVID-19 during the duration or after their tours.
Elaborating on the Sarawak Domestic Tourism SOP MTAC’s Minister, Datuk Haji Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah said tour agencies or tourism service providers must ensure that all staff and tourists were fully vaccinated before they began with any tours or related activities.
“Random RTK Antigen test should be done for the staff, bus drives and tour guides. Maintaining a 1-meter physical distancing and wearing a face mask is compulsory at all times. Sickbay at their premises should be prepared for emergency isolation for unwell or symptomatic tourists, if needed,” he went on to say.
The Minister also reminded tour operators and tour guides to ensure that Domestic Tourism SOPs and Covid-19 preventive measures are strictly complied with, buses are disinfected thoroughly after every tour, and physical distancing is maintained, among many things.
“Licenced homestay operators under MOTAC need to provide body temperature scanner as well as hand sanitiser and ensure that there is 1-meter physical distance mark on the floor at areas such as surau, hall or rest tent. Cleaning and disinfecting process should be done at all times in public places. Checking of risk status and tourist Digital Vaccination Certificate is required before allowing tourist to check in,” he stressed, adding that all tourist attractions, hotels and homestays must follow the SOPs on ventilation improvement issued by SDMC in non-residential buildings/spaces during the pandemic.
Business events, he said, are a go as well. However, they are restricted to Meetings, Corporate Incentives, and Conventions only, with a maximum 50% normal capacity of the event space or a maximum of 100 persons only.
“My Ministry will work closely with the State Disaster Management Committee and the tourism and business events industry players to monitor the tourism activities throughout Sarawak from time to time to ensure SOPs are strictly followed and complied with,” Karim said.
So pack up your bags and get ready to experience Sarawak, where there’s more to discover.