Foreign Barbers Must Get Covid-19 Screening: Minister

Ismail Sabri Yaakob also says he can’t confirm media reports on a foreign barber in Setapak possibly contracting Covid-19.

KUALA LUMPUR, June 12 — Foreigners working as barbers and in hair salons are now required to get screened for Covid-19 before they can operate, Ismail Sabri Yaakob announced today.

The senior defence minister also urged customers to ask salons for letters from clinics confirming that their foreign staff have tested negative for coronavirus infection, and to report to the authorities if the premises are unable to produce proof of negative test results.

“For the SOP (standard operating procedures) on opening salons, foreign barbers can only operate after doing a swab test. If it’s negative, then only they can open.

“If there are hair salons that allow foreign workers to work without a swab test, we can take action to close down the outlet. I hope people will follow the SOP,” Ismail Sabri told a press conference.

The government has previously mandated Covid-19 screening on only migrant workers in the construction sector.

He added that he could not confirm media reports on a foreign barber in Setapak here possibly contracting Covid-19, as he had not yet been briefed by the Ministry of Health (MOH).

“But if it’s true, then the premises of the hair salon will be closed,” Ismail Sabri said.

“Screening will also be done. When we go to the salon, we fill in our details, our name and contact number. If there’s a positive case, we can trace the barber’s close contacts.”

MOH has been reporting new Covid-19 cases mostly among foreign workers in the past several days.

The senior minister also said the government has decided to allow meetings, seminars, courses, and trainings, with the National Security Council (NSC) currently reviewing SOPs for this together with MOH. The SOPs are expected to be presented to the special ministers’ meeting next Monday for approval.

He added that SOPs on reopening non-Muslim places of worship would be updated, as the current guidelines only allow a maximum of 30 participants in a non-Muslim religious gathering.

Mosques, he noted, are already allowed to have gatherings one-third of their normal congregation size, such as in the Federal Territories. So a mosque will be allowed to have 1,000 congregants if its usual congregation size is 3,000 people.

National Unity Minister Halimah Mohamed Sadique, he said, will present new SOPs for non-Muslim places of worship next Monday.

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