Christmas SOP: No Carolling, Visits Only On The First Day – Ismail Sabri

KUALA LUMPUR: Open houses and carrolling activities in conjunction with the Christmas celebrations are not allowed throughout the country, says Senior Minister (Security Cluster) Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob.

He said this was among the standard operating procedures for the festival which also stipulates that visiting each other’s houses is only allowed on the first day (Dec 25) in areas where the Recovery Movement Control Order (RMCO) and Conditional Movement Control Order (CMCO) are being enforced.

“Christians are only allowed to perform prayer ceremonies on Dec 24 and 25 in the areas under the RMCO and CMCO,” he said at a press conference here today.

He said Christmas celebrations were allowed to be held at landed residences on the first day, with not more than 20 guests comprising only close family members.

Ismail Sabri said for non-landed strata properties with an area of less than 1,500 square feet, the number of guests should not exceed 10, while for houses with an area of 2,500 square feet and above, the maximum number is 15.

Commenting further on the SOP at houses of worship during the festival, Ismail Sabri said screening counters should be set up at the entrances, besides limiting the number of attendees.

He said on Dec 24, the prayer ceremony should be held between 5 pm and 9.30 pm in only two sessions, with the duration of one hour 30 minutes per session, with a 45-minute break for sanitisation works before starting a new session.

“On Dec 25, the prayer ceremony should be held between 7 am and 1.45 pm in three sessions (one hour 30 minutes per session) with a 45-minute break for sanitisation works before starting a new session,” he said.

He said prayer ceremonies at minor basilicas, cathedrals, churches and chapels should fully comply with the SOPs for houses of worship issued previously, subject to the size of the place, with physical distancing maintained at all times.

Meanwhile, he said prayer ceremonies and pilgrimage activities were not allowed in areas subject to the Enhanced Movement Control Order (EMCO), with families only allowed to celebrate the event in their own homes.