Penang to reopen recreational parks on Saturday

View of Penang Hill. Photo: Lee Chee Keong
View of Penang Hill. Photo: Lee Chee Keong

The Penang state government has excellent news for its outdoorsy residents. 

Several iconic recreational parks including the Youth Park, Taman Metropolitan Relau (Relau Metropolitan Park), and Penang Botanical Gardens will reopen to visitors from Saturday, subject to crowd restrictions. Hikers can also look forward to conquering the Bukit Jambul (Jambul Hill) and Penang Hill.

The parks reopen nearly three months after they were ordered shut on March 17. Visitors to those places will need to register themselves online before making their way down, according to chief minister Chow Kon Yeow during his announcement yesterday after chairing the Security Council Special Committee Meeting.

“The parks that will be reopened on June 6 is Youth Park, Renau Metropolitan Park, Penang Botanical Gardens, and the Jambul Hill hiking trails. Meanwhile, hiking activities are allowed at Penang Hill from the foot of the train station until the jeep road, but only for pedestrians,” Chow said

He added: “The visitors must register themselves using the PGCare app when they visit the parks.”

The parks will open daily from 7am to 7pm.

The PGCare app is a contact-tracing app for Penangites. Users scan a QR code before they can add their personal details upon visiting the respective locations. 

Only 200 visitors will be allowed to hike, jog, or hang out at those parks at any given time. A smaller group of just 50 visitors will be allowed at Taman Metropolitan Relau (Relau Metropolitan Park). Local authorities will be on the ground to monitor the crowds. 

Penang has been in the “green” zone in the past four weeks for having no new reported COVID-19 cases. It has reported only 121 cases since the outbreak began in Malaysia, accounting for only 1.5% of the total 7,877 cases nationwide. Only one death attributed to the coronavirus has been reported in Penang, which was announced on March 22. 

The state was declared a green zone on May 4, with its last active case of COVID-19 recorded on April 26. 

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