By now, most of us should have started planning our Chinese New Year (CNY) visiting schedule.
With the gathering limit still at five visitors per family, those of us who used to look forward to the large family gatherings will for sure be missing that this year.
Well, we might also just be ever so slightly jealous of our neighbours up north, as the Malaysian government has just announced a set of less stringent rules to usher in the new Lunar year.
Most Adults in M’sia Are Vaccinated
The Malaysian government explained that 98% of adults and 78.6% of the population are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, suggesting that there is less likely to be an uncontrollable spread of the disease.
However, precautions are still taken, with only closed-door house visits being allowed for house visits. These visits only comprise invited guests and are usually immediate family members of the host.
Open houses, which often include members of the public entering the host’s house, are still strictly banned.
As compared to last year’s travel restrictions and a 15-person limit on reunion dinners, there will be no travel restrictions for visiting this CNY, making it much easier for cross-state relatives to visit each other.
Additionally, on the 15th day of CNY, which marks the end of the CNY festival, celebrations at non-muslim places of worship are allowed to include lion and dragon dances, an iconic part of CNY that has been barely seen for the past year due to the COVID-19 situation.
Some Are Still Wary
Despite the cause for celebration, some Malaysians are still playing it safe.
Of course, there still is the concern of COVID-19 being a possible super-spreader through all the social interactions. Understandably, different people may choose to carry out their CNY celebrations differently, with some only hosting reunion dinners with their immediate family members
Additionally, different states also have different rules. For example, Sarawak only allows residents to have reunion dinners with their immediate family members, with house visits, open houses and lion and dragon dances still being banned.
In all, although we might be envious of our Malaysian friends this CNY, here’s to hoping that we’ll all be able to celebrate like them next year. But for now, stay safe and remember to keep to your groups of five when visiting your relatives!
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