Senior Minister (Education) Dr Mohd Radzi Md Jidin said the reopening of boarding schools would be carried out according to the capacity of their respective hostels.

Mohd Radzi said hostels with sufficient capacity after taking into account social distancing would operate as normal.

“For dormitories with limited space capacity, after taking into account social distancing, only a small number of students can stay in dormitories at the early stage.

"Among the major constraints is the use of double-deckers," he said at a special Ministry of Education (MOE) media conference today.

Commenting further, Mohd Radzi said, based on the recommendation of the Ministry of Health (MOH), students would only use the bottom deck at the early stage of return to the hostels.

However, after a period of 14 days, a new group of students would be allowed into the hostels by moving the existing students to the upper decks while the newcomers occupy the bottom bunks.

He said the procedure would be continued so that all students could stay in the dormitories.

“After taking into account the recommendation of the MOH, in general, for dormitories using double deckers, all the students are expected to return to the hostels within 28 to 42 days from June 24, 2020.

"The time to return to the hostels depends on the number of students and will be determined by the schools," he said.

Meanwhile, Mohd Radzi said co-curriculum, sports activities and assemblies were still not allowed as the focus at the moment was on learning and teaching (PdP).

On the tahfiz schools which were not registered under the MOE, Mohd Radzi said the schools in question were urged to follow the guidelines issued by the ministry on the operation of schools.

He said every decision made was based on in-depth discussions of the MOE with the MOH and the National Security Council (NSC) in view of the improving COVID-19 situation in the country.

"What is certain is that the risk is always there, but what the schools need to do is ensure that all standard operating procedures (SOP) in the guidelines are properly complied with,’’ he added.