Malaysian government urged to differentiate MICE from mass gatherings

Roads leading into and out of the Malaysian capital devoid of traffic

The Business Events Council Malaysia (BECM) is appealing to the Malaysian government to make a clear distinction between business events and mass gatherings so that the sector can establish a restart date for the sector.

This is as Malaysia has just extended its conditional movement control order (CMCO) for another four weeks until June 9. Currently, under CMCO, conferences and exhibitions are prohibited from taking place.

Roads leading into and out of the Malaysian capital devoid of traffic

Chairman of BECM, Alan Pryor, said in a press release that it was important that the government understood that the business events industry can operate safely under comprehensive Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs).

Malaysia’s business events venues and facilities can offer controlled environments combined with high-quality operational standards to ensure the health and safety of people, which has always been and will continue to be, a primary concern of the business events industry.

The comprehensive SOPs – which have been developed by relevant industry sectors with the support of industry associations – incorporate the use of personal protective equipment (PPE), food safety measures, air quality control, surface cleaning, and physical and social distancing. Based on the SOPs, Malaysian business event venues will also be required to implement a variety of other measures including temperature checks, thermal cameras, hand sanitisers, reduced touchpoints, contactless transactions and daily monitoring systems.

According to Pryor: “The specifics will be further customised for each venue and event, but the primary objective is first and foremost the health and safety of all involved in the planning and execution of events on-site.

“As an industry we are able to run extremely well-organised events tracing every one of our attendees, speakers and exhibitors as well as monitoring, tracking and putting in place a range of measures that can ensure these events comply with government guidelines on hygiene and physical distancing. This level of capability clearly distinguishes the business events industry from mass gatherings where controls and personal space are often limited.”

According to recent reports, Germany’s government has agreed that exhibitions, trade fairs and congresses, are now on the list of activities that are listed as possible and can potentially resume under strict health and safety controlled conditions, rather than being classed as mass gatherings, which currently remain prohibited in the country until the end of August.

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