No need for Covid-19 test now prior to travelling back to Malaysia

Ismail Sabri addressing the media during a press conference at Putrajaya. Photo Credit: Radio Television Malaysia (RTM).

By Karen Bong

KUCHING, July 23: Returning Malaysians and foreigners from overseas will not need to take Covid-19 test three days before travelling to the country but are subject to clearance from airlines and countries of departure.

Senior Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob informed that this latest decision was made as all returnees coming back from overseas will have to undergo 14-day compulsory quarantines at designated facilities identified by the federal government starting tomorrow (July 24).

“They are no longer allowed to serve quarantine at their own homes because it was reported that 50 per cent of those observing home quarantine did not fully comply with the requirement and standard operating procedure (SOP) issued,” he told a press conference on Recovery Movement Control Order (RMCO) in Putrajaya today.

Of the 23,378 individuals ordered to undergo home quarantine as of today, he said that 79 were sent to the hospitals.

“The government takes seriously the incidents as a result of non-compliance with standard operating procedures (SOP) of home quarantine which had led to the spread of Covid-19 infections to families and surrounding communities,” he added.

As such, Ismail pointed out that all passengers coming in from all entry points including air, sea or land will have to undergo 14-day quarantines in designated stations which have been identified.

“This means that all arrivals to any of the airports within Malaysia like Penang, Johor, Sabah, Sarawak, not only Kuala Lumpur (International Airport), and including the Johor-Singapore causeway will be quarantined.

Ismail however reminded that the requirement for Covid-19 swab test was subjected to rules and regulations imposed by airlines and countries of departure in which travellers will have to comply.

As for the costs of quarantine and Covid-19 test, he said all returning citizens will have to bear the daily cost for accommodation as well as swab test to be carried out upon arrival.

“The government will now allow one family comprising parents and children under 12 years old to share a room for quarantine at a facility as they are not isolated before quarantine.

“However, all members will be required to sign agreement forms prior to room sharing in case there is an infection among them so at least we have a letter to show that they have agreed to this,” he explained.

For returning students, Ismail urged the sponsors to bear the costs while students from the lower income group can apply with the government to be exempted.

“As for those with special needs, the government has agreed to exclude them from any cost,” he added. —DayakDaily