PENANG has proposed a test run for the reopening of spacious outdoor tourist attractions in the state before embracing the full resumption of travel activities, says state executive councillor for Tourism and Creative Economy Yeoh Soon Hin.
Yeoh, in a statement today, said the test run is aimed at fine tuning and improving health protocols at tourist attractions, and will be conducted in collaboration with Association of Tourists Attractions Penang (ATAP) at outdoor attractions with ample space.
“We have tentatively identified four outdoor attractions in Penang which will be involved in this test run. They are The Habitat, Tropical Spice Garden, Penang Tropical Fruit Farm and Penang Bird Park,” he added.
The Penang government, Yeoh said, had submitted the proposal to the National Security Council after an online meeting with ATAP. It was also attended by Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow.
He explained that the four attractions were selected as part of the test run because they have wide spaces that are aligned with health protocols, that subsequently allow social distancing and good air ventilation, effectively avoiding overcrowding issues.
He added that the test run will be conducted with strict adherence to health protocols which will limit the test run to three days per week, only applicable to fully vaccinated visitors who have pre-booked their tickets online prior to the visit.
“The visitors for each attraction will also be capped at 30 persons at any one time and will be required to strictly comply with the standard operating procedures (SOP). The tourist attraction operators will also have to work closely with the police authorities which will be monitoring this test-run.
“In fact, the tourist attraction operators have strictly complied with the SOPs ever since the pandemic outbreak. Even now when other sectors have been permitted to reopen, it is a shame that they are still patiently waiting for their green light. The prolonged closure is taking a toll on the industry players’ livelihood,” he added.