Police have warned members of the public against violating standard operating procedures in public areas, and would be forced to act firmly if the situation gets out of hand where there are too many people in a given area, Bernama has reported.

“We don’t want to close down public places found to be overcrowded because we have checked and found that the visitors came from the same bubble. We will only increase monitoring of these areas,” said federal internal security and public order department deputy director DCP Datuk Mastor Mohd Ariff.

Police will also be working with Rela personnel under Ops Patuh to conduct scheduled monitoring in areas expected to be focal points for increased crowding, said Mastor, adding that most of the visitors at these recreational areas were present with family members who either arrived together or are staying together, and that these locations are crowded only on Saturdays and Sundays.

These observations by Mastor came after images and videos surfaces on social media, depicting members of the public visiting recreational parks and bathing in rivers, apparently disregarding physical distancing guidelines over the past weekend.

This followed the Malaysian government’s decision to move the Klang Valley area comprising Kuala Lumpur, Selangor and Putrajaya into Phase 2 of the national recovery plan (NRP), which meant there would no longer be roadblocks between these areas.

Where recreational activities are concerned, the national security council (MKN) has agreed to relax SOPs for for sports, leisure and recreational activities in states under Phase 1 of the NRP, where indoor sports activities will be permitted for individuals who have completed both vaccine doses, except for gym facilities, said prime minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob in his briefing last week.