The standard operating procedures (SOPs) for the Qing Ming festival at cemeteries and columbariums on April 4 was approved on Tuesday (March 16).
The SOPs will apply 14 days before the actual festival date which is from March 20 to April 4 and 14 days after, from April 5 to 18, throughout the duration of the movement control order, conditional MCO and recovery MCO.
For the SOPs at cemeteries,
- the number of close relatives should not be more than 6 people at any one time
- prayers should be conducted from 5 am to 6 pm for a duration of 90 minutes.
- In MCO states, only 10 people are allowed at any one time, 50 per cent capacity with physical distancing for conditional MCO areas
- In recovery MCO areas, the number of visitors will be according to the capacity of the columbarium, according to the Ministry in its statement.
Prayer times in MCO, conditional MCO and recovery MCO areas should be between 5 am and 6 pm, and the duration is limited to 60 minutes, with sanitisation work lasting 30 minutes in between. However, interstate travel is still not allowed.
The Qing Ming festival is commemorated by the Chinese community who will hold prayers and clean the graves of their ancestors as a sign of respect and to honour their deceased relatives.
Starting from March 19 to 31, Kedah (except Kuala Muda and Kulim, which are under a conditional MCO), Perak and Negeri Sembilan (except for Seremban, which is under a conditional MCO) will change status to be under a recovery MCO; Selangor, Kuala Lumpur, Johor, Penang and Kelantan remain under a conditional MCO, while Sarawak will come under a conditional MCO from March 16 to 29.
Meanwhile, Perlis Melaka, Pahang, Terengganu, Sabah, Putrajaya and Labuan remain under a recovery MCO.