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Thousands of Passengers Crowd Jetty To Langkawi, No Social Distancing Observed


Langkawi Ft
Source: Astro Awani

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Despite the number of COVID-19 cases that are constantly on a high rise, thousands of visitors including families with the elderly and young children are taking vacations to Langkawi and doesn’t likely seem to care about the ongoing pandemic.
Pictures have circulated the internet showing big groups of people crowding together to board the ferry heading to Langkawi.
A survey done by Astro AWANI at the Kuala Perlis Ferry Terminal found that most of the passengers who wanted to enter the terminal did not practice social distancing and even lined up in close proximity to each other.
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Although the terminal management placed staffs and members of the Malaysian Volunteer Department (RELA) to control the situation, nevertheless the crowd became out of control, especially when passengers were at the entrance of the building.
Through the survey, Astro AWANI also understands that the situation occurs almost every day due to the increase in domestic tourists who go to the island, especially since it is the weekend holidays which are also connected with Christmas.
Human Resources and Operations Manager, Ferry Line Ventures Consortium, Captain Baharin Baharom said they have improved some Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) in preventing the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.
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“It includes limiting individuals who are in the waiting area, inside the terminal, with passengers only allowed to enter the area an hour before the ferry departure time,” he said.
“We are also increasing the number of employees for monitoring tasks at the ferry entrance area so that there is no serious congestion apart from ensuring that ferry service users wear face masks at all times,” he added on.
Captain Baharin Baharom said there are passengers that seem to forget that there are still subjected to follow the standard SOPs as they were seen not practising social distancing.
“We see passengers still scrambling to enter and exit the ferry,” he said.
Baharin also said his party was also ready to increase the frequency of ferry travel if it found that the demand is high, especially during the purchase of tickets online and physically at the counter. This may help avoid having huge crowds at one go.
He also added on to say, yesterday, December 28, Ferry Lines Ventures made 10 trips from Kuala Perlis to Langkawi between the time of 8 am to 9.30pm, sending 4,790 passengers.
The Ferry Line Ventures Consortium expressed that they are ready to receive more than 20,000 visitors in a day by increasing the frequency of travel from terminals in Kuala Kedah and Kuala Perlis.
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Pjimage 2020 12 23T122342.452
Source: Astro Awani
Source: Astro Awani

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