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Interstate travel: All quiet at bus terminals, main highways but busy weekend expected

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 11 — The first day of the resumption of interstate travel nationwide is running smoothly on several major highways nationwide, but this could be attributed to it being a working day for most people.

The smooth traffic flow situation could be viewed on closed-circuit camera (CCTV) footage from the Jalannow.com website while checks by Bernama at several major bus terminals in the states also found it to be quiet.

At the Hentian Duta Bus Terminal in Kuala Lumpur, counter staff Norhanna Mohd Rapi said ticket sales and bookings from the public were still not encouraging and expected the situation to change this weekend and next.

“We expect ticket sales to only start increasing from next week or this weekend as people are still working and have not made preparations such as applying for leave and so on,” she told Bernama, today.

Siti Samirah Sundar Nandagopal, 40, a security guard at a private company, when met at the bus terminal said that she used the flexibility given by the government to return to see her family in Sitiawan, Perak.

“I feel happy that after waiting more than eight months, I am here to buy tickets to return to my hometown on Saturday to meet the family face to face because all this time I have been in touch with them only through phone calls,” she said.

In Selangor, a similar situation was encountered at the bus terminal in Section 17, Shah Alam and Terminal A Klang Sentral, Klang.

Centralised ticket sales manager (CTS) Mohd Muzammil Mohd Alias when met expected bus ticket sales this week to be slow as people are still working.

In Penang, a bus ticket counter employee in Butterworth, Rusliana Mohd Pirus said they had started accepting express bus ticket bookings and expects ticket sales to increase by up to 50 per cent this weekend.

“Most bookings are for travel to the east coast states and I understand that some express bus operators will also increase the number of buses starting this weekend to accommodate the increasing number of passengers,” she said.

In Negeri Sembilan, civil servant Siti Amalina Hasfan, 31, said she will be returning to her village in Kuala Terengganu today, to visit her mother. She said she had performed the COVID-19 RTK Antigen screening test to ensure her family’s safety.

In Melaka, state deputy police chief SAC Razali Abu Samah said police expected the number of vehicles entering the state to increase to between 35,000 and 45,000 a day by this weekend compared to 19,000 a day previously.

He said, however, the police will continue to do checks at tourist hotspots to ensure that the community complies with the standard operating procedures (SOP) set.

In Kelantan, state Fire and Rescue Department assistant director of operations, Mohd Wildan Azhari expects the number of visitors to recreational areas such as waterfalls, rivers, and beaches in the state to increase following the lifting of the interstate travel ban starting today.

In this regard, he advised the public not to be complacent but to focus on safety aspects to avoid unwanted incidents such as drowning cases or having to face the water surge phenomena.

In Terengganu, a survey at several crowded locations such as Pasar Payang, Kuala Terengganu City Centre Mall (KTCC) and Batu Buruk Beach Recreation Park found no significant increase in visitors.

A food trader in Pasar Payang, Nor Azmah Ngah, 53, said the presence of visitors at these locations was still under control since the morning despite there being more than the usual number of visitors while batik and silk trader Norlela Asyikin Mohd Azhari, 37, expected the situation in the area to get busy this weekend when people begin returning to their hometowns.

Meanwhile, a homestay operator in Batu Buruk Beach, Ahmad Faisal Hafiz Mansor said bookings for the next two weeks were already full.

In Perak, checks at major hotspots such as Pangkor Island and shopping malls here are also still quiet.

In Johor, the Larkin Sentral Bus Terminal, which was previously the focus of travellers returning home, is expected to receive 3,000 express bus passengers a day by this weekend, following the interstate travel clearance starting today.

Larkin Sentral Building manager Mohd Helmi Mohd Affendi said the number of express bus passengers this weekend is expected to increase to 3,000 passengers a day compared to around 80 passengers a day previously.

For information technology executive Amira Azlan, 25, preparations to return to her village in Kuala Terengganu have been underway for the past week following recent news on social media that interstate travel would reopen soon.

“It’s been two years since I have been back so I immediately informed my family of my plans after the Prime Minister’s (Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob) announcement yesterday. I am really feeling happy and excited because I miss my family so much…I have also applied for seven days leave,” she said.

Yesterday, Ismail Sabri, in a special press conference, said the government had agreed to allow individuals who had been fully vaccinated to travel to other states without having to obtain police permission starting tomorrow.

He said the decision was made after the fully vaccinated rate of the adult population under the National COVID-19 Immunisation Programme (PICK) hit 90 per cent.

Source: BERNAMA News Agency

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