What to Expect from Ramadhan 2022
As Malaysia transitions from pandemic to the endemic stage, April 2022 will be a month for big changes, with the borders for international travel opening on the 1st of the month, and the 3rd marking the first day of fasting.
While many Malaysians look forward to the return of festivities, buka puasa sessions with friends and colleagues, as well as the merriment of family reunions and open house visiting when Raya arrives, it is understandable that some may feel anxious about the continued circulation of the Covid-19 virus.
After two years of lockdowns and strict SOPs, being allowed to gather and experience a festive season again may feel strange to many of us. We at GemSpot are here to help you navigate Ramadhan 2022 with some friendly reminders on how to keep you and members of your household safe.
A much-awaited annual event that is sure to fire up your festive spirit for the coming Hari Raya, are Ramadhan bazaars. Attracting Malaysians of all backgrounds, this year up to 5,000 bazaars and more than 9,000 bazaars have been approved for Kuala Lumpur and Selangor respectively. This means the return of all our favourite Ramadhan and Raya goodies, including kueh galore, specialty drinks, traditional dishes, and more.
At Ramadhan bazaars, be mindful of cleanliness gestures such as using tongs or other appropriate utensils when selecting kueh from your favourite stalls, and avoiding hand-to-hand contact. Maintain appropriate distancing such as when queueing, and do continue to wear a mask in public. Keep your keychain bottle of sanitizer handy, and remember to wash your hands or even shower after entering your home if you’ve just visited a crowded bazaar.
Buka Puasa Buffets
Many hotels and restaurants all over the country will bring back their sumptuous Ramadhan buffets, which are always a treat especially for those fasting. Buffets are not only a lovely way for families to enjoy a buka puasa-eat out session together, many companies also organise buka puasa dinners as a convivial outing for staff members. Malaysian buffets are also extra special for the fact that you are likely to get an excellent variety of flavours from local to international, with chefs offering their personal touch to certain dishes.
If you’re going to a buffet, remember indoor-dining SOPs such as except for when actively eating, to always have your mask on especially whenever you leave the table. Many restaurants will likely have wait staff manning food stations so that they are able to serve you without too many people exchanging and mixing up serving spoons, so be patient and courteous when queueing for a dish. When going back for second helpings, remember to always use a new plate, and if serving yourself to use the serving ware provided and not to bring utensils from your table to the buffet.
Gatherings: Prayers, Malls and Eateries
This month, expect to see malls returning to normal operating hours (10am to 10pm for most shopping centres), as well as round-the-clock mamaks to return to 24-hour service. As Muslim citizens gather for evening prayers (known as terawih), many Malaysians enjoy eating out not just for buka puasa but even for early morning sahur, and as we see malls get busier and more crowded with festive shopping activities leading up to Raya, we can expect a lot of grouping and gathering of people in public spaces.
While we are allowed some relief from the fact that most members of the population are likely fully vaccinated by now, you wouldn’t want to ruin yours or someone else’s festive occasion by falling ill. Remember that indoor public spaces still have the highest risk for virus spread, so masking and distancing where possible are still vital to help curb the spread. Take advantage of easily available home testing kits, and test regularly. Most of all, if you are showing any symptoms at all, let your recent contacts know, and avoid going out, even if testing negative on a home test. Should you test positive, remember to report your status on your MySejahtera app.
Need help planning for Hari Raya? Check out GemSpot to place your orders for Raya hampers and gift baskets, to order goodies such as festive cookies, or you could even use the all-new Party Planning services to help plan your Ramadhan gathering party or even your Raya open house with food catering, décor including balloons and flowers, and more!