On May 15 2020, Health Director-General Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah had advised Muslims to celebrate Hari Raya at home, in a closed-door fashion, to protect their families from COVID-19.
With only a couple days left of Ramadhan and the Raya holidays around the corner, this year’s Hari Raya celebration will see a marked difference for Muslims as it will be a low-key event. It is a sad situation but necessary for everyone’s wellbeing.
To keep everyone safe and sound, here is a simple guide on how to celebrate Raya in 2020.
1. Limited only on the first day of Raya.
According to Defence Minister, Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob, visits are confined to ONLY immediate family members of – not more than 20 people per visit. This will be part of the standard operating procedure (SOPs) for Raya, Pesta Kaamatan and Gawai celebrations.
2. Social distancing is a MUST.
While it is nice to visit your family members, each one of you must comply with social distancing during the visits. Each family who visits must be apart from the hosts, including no handshakes, full-bodied or side hugs and cheek kisses. Do not forget to wash your hands with soap or use the sanitiser before and after entering a house.
3. Sanitized the visiting areas.
Grab your rags! While you are at it, maybe wear something less fancy. With a bottle of Dettol in your left hand and a rag in your right, wiped down and disinfect any surfaces such as tables and doorknobs.
Please do take precautions by providing hand sanitizers and face masks, in case any guests turn up without one.
4. Take precaution with the elderly and young children.
Meeting loved ones after months of separation should be a happy moment. Unfortunately, since this is our new normal, we are reminded again to carry out the responsibility in protecting our family members, especially the vulnerable groups – elderly and children – from COVID-19.
If you are visiting or receiving guests, be 2 metres apart from any elderly or young children and just say hello from afar. We understand it is not an ideal moment, but these simple sacrifices will ensure everyone’s safety.
5. Sharing of utensils and plates must be avoided.
You might be used to sharing a plate of rendang or some pineapple tarts with a cousin, unfortunately, that generosity needs to stop. Ensure all guests have their own utensils, plates and cups. And if there are not enough seats at the dining table, allow the guest to eat first then alternate with your family.
Yes, this is a challenging time for all Malaysians. We cannot be sure that we are free of the virus, as there are possibilities of getting infected without our knowledge and risk passing the virus during the Raya celebration.
We pray all Malaysians will adhere to the SOP issued by the Ministry of Health.