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Penang Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow speaks to reporters during a visit to the vaccination centre at the Gurney Paragon Mall in George Town August 17, 2021. — Picture by Sayuti Zainudin
Penang Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow speaks to reporters during a visit to the vaccination centre at the Gurney Paragon Mall in George Town August 17, 2021. — Picture by Sayuti Zainudin

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GEORGE TOWN, Aug 17 ― Nearly all of the economic sectors in Penang have been allowed to restart operations today even though the state hasn’t quite reached the 50 per cent full Covid-19 vaccination target yet.

Penang Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow said the relaxation was based on an update in the standard operating procedures set by the National Security Council (NSC) and announced two days ago.

“A lot of sectors are now allowed to operate from today and we don’t have to wait for a vaccination rate of 50 per cent of the second dose for the adult population,” he said in a press conference after visiting a retail industry Covid-19 vaccination programme (Rivac) at Paragon Mall here.

He said this means most of the retail sectors in Penang can now reopen.

“Both city councils, MBPP and MBSP, will be issuing the respective SOPs on this,” Chow said.

He said Penang has reached 38.1 per cent full vaccination, ranking sixth among the states.

He believes the change in the SOPs could be because many other states were not able to meet the 50 per cent full vaccination target for businesses to resume.

“We are expected to reach 40 per cent full vaccination rate of the adult population by this Thursday,” he added.

He is confident that the state will reach 50 per cent full vaccination of its adult population by the end of August.

“This is still important to reach even though we no longer have to achieve this rate for the reopening of the economic sectors since they have updated the SOPs,” he said.

Chow said 71.5 per cent of adults who registered for vaccination have received their first dose so far.

Eleven types of businesses were allowed to reopen in states under Phase One of the National Recovery Plan (NRP).

States under Phase Two of the NRP were allowed an additional 11 types of businesses.

The 11 businesses allowed to reopen in Phase One, Two and Three states are car wash, electrical and electronic, home and kitchen appliances, furniture, sports equipment, car accessories, car distributors and showrooms, morning markets and farmers’ markets, clothing and fashion, jewellery, salons, beauty shops and barbers.

The additional 11 businesses allowed to reopen in Phase Two states are photo and photo services, used goods, florists and nurseries, crafts and souvenirs, antiques, toys, carpet, creative content and creative industry accessories, outdoor gadgets, cosmetic, skincare and perfume, and tobacco including vape and e-cigarettes.

Only those who have completed full vaccination will be allowed to access these businesses.

However, the initial announcement stated that at least 50 per cent of the adults in these Phase Two states must have completed their full vaccination before the 11 additional businesses are allowed to reopen.

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