It’s introduced this year, but enforcement will begin only in 2022.
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Every climbing or hiking activity on a hill or mountain over 457.2 meters tall in Peninsular Malaysia must meet a specified ratio of one guide to 7 participants from this year onwards.
For context, popular hiking spot Broga Hill in Semenyih has an altitude of around 400 metres.
Bernama reports that the new rules by the Peninsular Forestry Department is introduced to improve the safety of visitors, as well as a precautionary measure to control the spread of Covid-19.
Director of Forest Eco-Park and State Park Forest of the Peninsular Forestry Department, Mohd Yussainy Md Yusop said that the State Forestry Department will identify climbing areas that are required to use the services of mountain forestry guides.
The condition for the ratio of one guide to seven people for activities in the climbing area with a height of 1,500 feet or 457.2m is so that every movement in and out of the forest can be controlled by the Forestry Department and the guide.Mohd Yussainy Md Yusop, Director of Forest Eco-Park & State Park Forest of the Peninsular Forestry Department.
For climbs below an altitude of 457.2m, the guideline does not apply as it is up to the public to hire personal guides.
The Forestry Department will spend a year raising awareness on this new guide before enforcement takes place in 2022.
The public is currently permitted to partake in a wide range of outdoor activities like having a picnic, camping, hiking, jungle tracking, rock climbing, paragliding, riding ATVs and other extreme funtime stuff at Recovery Movement Control Order (RMCO) areas following strict standard operating procedures (SOP).
Camp, hiking, and staying overnight at the country’s National Parks is also allowed in RMCO areas.
Hiking SOP in CMCO Areas
According to the latest Conditional Movement Control Order SOP (4 Jan 2021) by the National Security Council (MKN), non-contact sports and recreational activities (indoors and outdoors) are allowed.
It is also not mandatory to wear a face mask during sports and recreational activities indoor and outdoor.
Under MKN’s Sports and Recreational Sector SOPs, physical distancing of 3-5 metres must be maintained at all times during hikes or dynamic activities.
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