More good news for those residing in states under Phase 1 of the economic recovery plan (NRP). Earlier this evening, caretaker prime minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin announced the relaxation of further economic measures for these states, adding on to the set that was announced on August 15.

The big item concerns food, and getting it piping hot at that. From tomorrow, Friday, August 20, fully vaccinated individuals in states under Phase 1 will be allowed to dine in at public eateries, restaurants/cafes and clubhouse premises. All dine-in customers must show proof that he/she is fully vaccinated via the digital vaccination cert in their MySejahtera app.

UPDATE: The story adds in updated standard operating procedures (SOPs) as defined in the latest set (dated August 20) issued for Phase 1 NRP states. There is a change in the time permitted for activities – the announcement on Thursday clearly listed this as being from 6am to 10pm, but the SOP however states that it is 6am to 8pm. As such, it has been corrected in the story.

By fully vaccinated, this means an individual must not just have completed their vaccine doses, but also satisfy the 14 day requirement after receiving the second dose (for Pfizer, AstraZeneca or Sinovac), or 28 days in the case of single dose vaccines such as Johnson & Johnson and CanSino.

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He added that if possible, eateries should prepare more dining space for customers outdoors, as the risk of the virus spreading is higher in enclosed places compared to when outdoors, where ventilation is far better. Fully vaccinated couples wanting to bring younger kids along (under 17 years old) to dine in can do so, but will have to ensure that they comply with all SOPs.

Dine-in patrons, take note that seating capacity per table is at 50%, and you’ll have to observe physical distancing of at least one metre. Don’t blame anyone if the authorities come checking and issue you a fine if you don’t comply.

Other measures and conveniences announced include the resumption of outdoor sports, leisure and recreational activities in Phase 1 states for the fully vaccinated, from 6am to 8pm. Previously, recreational activities such as jogging, exercise and cycling were allowed, but now the fully vaccinated have access to more.

These include activities in sports facilities and clubs. Items in the latest SOP set include swimming (at 60% capacity), equestrian, shooting, tennis/badminton (singles only), golf and motorsports. Other activities such as climbing, picnics, camping and fishing are also permitted, again only for the fully vaccinated.

Finally, night markets and weekend markets will be allowed to operate. Muhyiddin said that relevant enforcement authorities as well as the premise owners will need to ensure that customers entering these show their digital vaccination certificate to furnish proof that they are fully vaccinated.

Great news then for those who have been clamouring to have their favourite dish in the restaurant, but remember to keep to those SOPs, and observe distancing protocols. The game isn’t over.

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