KUCHING, Aug 19 — The Sarawak Disaster Management Committee (SDMC) has approved the reopening of driving schools in the state based on the new standard operating procedures (SOPs) under Phase Three of the National Recovery Plan (PPN).
Sarawak Transport Minister, Datuk Lee Kim Shin said the permission, however, only applied to the driving schools in the northern and central zones of the state as the southern zone comprising the Kuching, Serian and Samarahan Divisions were still experiencing high number of COVID-19 cases at the moment.
“The reopening of the driving schools will assist in mitigating the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the livelihood of all stakeholders involved and their related supply chain,” he said in a statement today.
Lee said the SDMC gave the approval for the re-opening last Tuesday following a proposal submitted by his ministry and the Sarawak Road Transport Department (RTD), with the operators, workers and learners to comply strictly with a set of SOPs tailored for driving schools.
These include requiring all driving schools to submit the necessary information to the nearby RTD offices for verification and arrangement before they are allowed to reopen for business and provide services.
Lee said the operators and workers must also complete their two-dose COVID-19 vaccination, while the learner drivers would need to have at least one dose of the vaccine before they could be accepted by the driving schools.
As proof of vaccination, he said the management and premises operators, workers, driving instructors and tutors as well as learner drivers must show their COVID-19 Vaccination Digital Certificate or vaccination card.
“However, after Aug 31 it will be mandatory for all the learners to have completed the two-dose COVID-19 vaccination before they can be accepted by the driving schools.
“The RTD officers will carry out regular site visits and spot checks on the driving schools to ensure that the SOPs are strictly complied with.
”We must trust that the new specific SOPs will help ensure that driving schools can operate in an environment under Phase Three of the National Recovery Plan in order to safeguard all stakeholders from the spread of COVID-19,” he added.