Cap on Raya visitors not a problem for most

KUALA LUMPUR: The fewer-than-15 visitors restriction at one time per house on the first day of Hari Raya Aidilfitri poses no problems to some Selangor folk.

However, some businesses are in limbo as no specific guidelines have been offered with regard to their operations.

University student Muhammad Nabil Yusof from Bukit Bandaraya in Shah Alam said the restriction was no issue for him as his 75-year-old grandmother lived in Tanjong Karang, while the immediate and extended families of his parents were staying outside the district.

"This celebration will be the same as last year's due to the Movement Control Order (MCO). We won't be having any immediate family members over due to the travel ban.

"My siblings and I will probably have our friends over. I think 15 people at one time is fine given the ample space in my house.

"We can split them into two groups to ensure that the standard operating procedures (SOP) are adhered to."

Civil servant Raja Zulkhairi Raja Omar said he agreed with the rules as it was more important to curb the spread of Covid-19.

"It is a reasonable number for my family as we live in an apartment. If there are too many people at one time, it will be hard to maintain physical distancing.

"My family and I have decided that we will not go back to Kota Tinggi, Johor, to celebrate Raya," said the 38-year-old policeman attached to the General Operations Force.

Civil servant Siti Ayu Asiah Ismail, 38, felt that the authorities could further reduce the number.

"It would be better if no more than 10 people are allowed. Perhaps a time limit should be set for each visit.

"It is important that this MCO achieves its aim of breaking the infection chain. People will be upset if this was all for nothing."

However, not everyone is satisfied with the guidelines.

Khaljaksa Khalil, the founder of Khal Hair Salon in Subang Jaya, said hair salons and barbers should be allowed to operate.

Khaljaksa, who is also the Hairdressing Skills Development Association president, said specific guidelines had been drawn up for them to continue operating their businesses in any phase of the restricted movement order.

"The MCO will definitely affect our businesses, especially if we are forced to shut down. We already have debts from rent.

"I do not see any problem for us to operate as there are guidelines in place to ensure the SOP is adhered to by the customers and staff members.

"There are no Covid-19 cases involving barbers, salons and academies so far. I hope it stays that way," said Khaljaksa, who is also a member of the Malaysia Hairdressers Association.

A gym operator in Petaling Jaya, who declined to be named, said industry players were in limbo as the MCO announcement did not touch on fitness centre operations.

"We'll wait for instructions."

Malaysian Federation of Malay Hawkers and Petty Traders Association secretary-general Mohamed Zamri Mohammed said he was glad that Ramadan and Aidilfitri bazaars could continue to operate.

However, he said, some Aidilfitri bazaar operators might be affected by the MCO as many customers would not be able to cross districts to shop.

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