COVID-19 | Senior Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob announced today that the Federal Territory of Labuan will be placed under a conditional movement control order (MCO) from Oct 17 to 30.
Ismail said the move was based on advice from the Health Ministry and the National Security Council (NSC) after an increase of positive Covid-19 cases on the island.
He said the conditional MCO's standard operating procedures (SOPs) would be similar to the ones already enforced at other areas, particularly along Sabah's east coast which relies largely on water transportation.
Among the restrictions include a 6pm cut off time large vessels transporting passengers and vehicles (RoRo Ferry), express passenger-only ferries as well as fast boats. Passenger loads must also be at limited capacity based on physical distancing requirements.
Similarly, water taxies are only allowed to operate from 6am to 6pm while foreign vessels are not allowed to engage in barter trading activities in Labuan waters.
Ismail said Malaysians working on ships docked in Labuan will also be subjected to the same "sign-in and sign-off" procedure in place since the initial MCO.
He said all crew signing in onboard will first have to undergo a swab test and 14- day quarantine while those signing off must undergo a 14-day quarantine if the vessel had recently transited at foreign ports or in Sabah.
As for religious activities, Ismail said all mosques in Labuan, as well as non-Muslim houses of worship, will be allowed to remain open throughout the conditional MCO period.
"To determine the number per Muslim congregation allowed for daily prayers five times a day and for the weekly Friday prayers, this proposal will be raised with the Federal Territories Islamic Department to be presented to the Yang di-Pertuan Agong for his consent.
"Meanwhile, for non-Muslim houses of worships, only six people (at a time) will be allowed," the defence minister said during his daily Covid-19 press conference broadcasted online through the ministry's official Facebook page.
Responding to a question, Ismail said the conditional MCO's restrictions on movements between districts referred to administrative areas under the jurisdiction of a district officer.
"There are also health districts (under the state health director) and police districts led by the district police chief.
"I was made to understand in Selangor, for example, there is an area under one district officer and two district police chiefs," he said.