Negative Covid-19 test results mandatory for entry to Bintulu except for essential services, medical emergencies

The latest SOP for entry to Bintulu from other divisions. Photo credit: Ukas

By Karen Bong

KUCHING, April 3: Valid proof of negative Covid-19 test results will be required to enter Bintulu both by land and air from April 5 to 18, except for essential services as well as medical emergencies.

Those in essential services will be exempted from the tests if they are taking a day trip from Bintulu to other divisions, while those experiencing medical emergencies will be exempted if their entry only lasts for less than 24 hours.

This latest restriction has been enforced by the Bintulu Divisional Disaster Management Committee (Bintulu DDMC) given the sharp spike in Covid-19 cases in the division recently due to inter-zone movement.

Last Wednesday (March 31), Bintulu DDMC chairman Jack Aman Luat said the latest standard operating procedures (SOP) on entry was implemented to ensure that community transmissions can be reduced in the division.

“It is compulsory for individuals to undergo rT-PCR tests for Covid-19 three-days prior to their travel.

“The negative result must be submitted as supporting documents when applying for a police permit to cross zones,” he told a press conference.

Jack, who is also Bintulu Resident, urged the police not to issue travel permits to those who cannot produce proof of negative test result.

“If individuals are caught without valid negative test results, they will be blocked from entering Bintulu division or required to do a swab test and quarantine at a designated facility at their own cost,” he warned.

However, he said exception will be given to those who need to enter Bintulu for emergencies but supporting documents such as appointments at hospitals or to attend funeral ceremonies must be produced.

“For those in the essential services that frequently commute to Bintulu, they will be given clearance with a swab test valid for two weeks, a letter from their head of department (HOD) and police permit,” he explained.

Jack emphasised that stricter enforcement will be taken to ensure people maintain high levels of discipline and compliance with the SOP, particularly physical distancing and others.

According to the SOP, valid negative test results applies to daytrip commuters from other divisions to Bintulu and non-frequent commuters under essential services, emergency entry of more than 24 hours, as well as non-essential entry and transit commuters (bypassing Bintulu from land).

Day trippers under essential services from Bintulu to other divisions do not have to undergo a swab test but a letter from their HOD and two-way permits are required.

For emergency entry for either medical and death-related purposes, individuals are required to lodge a report at the nearest police station in their respective division, after which Bintulu Police Headquarters will be informed to issue permit. — DayakDaily