LUMUT, Sept 26 — The Perak state government is not rushing but still looking into all possibilities before deciding to reopen Pangkor Island to the public.
Menteri Besar Datuk Saarani Mohamad said the main benchmark to the reopening of the tourist destination would be based on the impact on the travel bubble like in Langkawi since Sept 16.
“At Pangkor, we have to take into consideration the fishermen, the local residents and traders. We do not want new infections that will cause not only Pangkor Island to be placed under the Enhanced Movement Control Order (EMCO) but the whole of Perak as well. That would be unfortunate.
“So, we have to look at the travel bubble programme which is being tried out for the first time in Langkawi. Two weeks are needed for us to see the effects since the travel bubble was launched on Sept 16. If there are no problems, surely we will allow Pangkor Island to be reopened to the public,” he said at a press conference at the Phase 3A Amanjaya Hall, here, today after visiting the storm-affected areas around Manjung.
Last Sept 12, Perak Housing, Local Government and Toursim Committee chairman, Datuk Nolee Ashilin Mohammed Radzi said Pangkor Island was expected to be reopened from Nov 1 only to visitors who had been fully vaccinated.
At the press conference, Saarani also stressed that the reopening of the island resort that would be tabled by the Tourism, Arts and Culture Ministry, was still subject to the National Security Council’s decision.
He said close monitoring by the authorities was also required at all the resort island’s terminals and jetties, which were the exit and entry points for visitors to Pangkor Island.
“We must not forget that there are no flights to Pangkor like to Langkawi. This simply means that all visitors can only have access to the island via the ferries and boats. Then people will crowd at the jetties and if the congestion is not dealt with properly, infections can occur,” he said.
He added that the state government would also open all tourist destinations in Perak if the reopening of Pangkor Island did not cause any problems related to the COVID-19 pandemic.