Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Malaysia ‘travel ban is temporary’



Malaysia ‘travel ban is temporary’

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Singapores Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong (left) speaks with Malaysian counterpart Ismail Sabri Yaakob beside a cross-border bus at the Woodlands checkpoint in Singapore at the launch of the vaccinated travel lane (VTL) between Singapore and Malaysia. SINGAPORE INFORMATION MINISTRY/AFP

Malaysia ‘travel ban is temporary’

As reports emerge of the Covid-19 Omicron variant spreading globally, the Malaysian government will be assessing the situation daily and broadening travel restrictions.

Malaysia health minister Khairy Jamaluddin said Malawi has been added to the list of countries under temporary travel

restrictions as of December 1. Other countries currently on the list are South Africa, Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia and Zimbabwe.

The temporary travel restriction only applies to non-Malaysians from these countries. Malaysians and those holding long-term passes, including permanent residency status, spouse visa, MM2H, and residence passes, will not be barred from entry.

However, they will be required to undergo a compulsory 14-day quarantine regardless of their vaccination status, he said.

“They will also need to undergo a RT-PCR test 72 hours before flying and after arriving at international travel gates and on the 10th day of quarantine.

“A risk assessment will be conducted on the 14th day and the quarantine period will be extended if there are symptoms,” he said.

Malaysians will also not be allowed to travel to the countries on the list and entry of international students and foreign workers from these countries will be postponed.

Khairy said the countries were placed on the list based on whether the Omicron coronavirus variant spread from an imported case or community transmission.

“We also looked at the country’s vaccination rate and whether there was a risk of high transmission in a short time.

“If the vaccination rate is low and the community spread is wide, then the ministry’s risk assessment is to put the country on the list, but if the transmission is due to imported cases and is low, and the country has a high vaccination rate, then we will not add it to the list,” he said during December 1’s press conference.

This assessment will be reviewed daily by the ministry, he said, adding that the steps are taken as a precautionary measure and not to punish the countries on the list.

“The ministry will also prepare a list of countries recognised as ‘at high risk of Omicron variant infections’ for distribution to relevant agencies on a daily basis,” he said.

He pointed out that this was only a temporary measure until more information is available about the variant.

“If we find that it is not a threat to public health then we will loosen the restrictions once again.

“This is in line with the World Health Organisation’s recommendation not to overreact to the variant of concern and to respond in a proportionate manner and to continue to share information while updating measures,” he said.

When asked if the government would also impose temporary travel restrictions on the UK, Belgium, Netherlands and Australia following reports of suspected community transmissions of the Omicron variant, Khairy said the government still needs more information before completing a risk assessment.

THE STAR (MALAYSIA)/ASIA NEWS NETWORK

MOST VIEWED

  • Angkor lifetime pass, special Siem Reap travel offers planned

    The Ministry of Tourism plans to introduce a convenient, single lifetime pass for foreign travellers to visit Angkor Archaeological Park and potentially other areas. The move is designed to stimulate tourism to the culturally rich province of Siem Reap as the start of the “Visit

  • Bosba: The first Khmer woman composer from UK’s Cambridge

    Bosba Panh is just 25 years old, but she’s already accomplished some impressive milestones for herself and the Kingdom. On July 24, she graduated with a Master’s degree from the University of Cambridge as the first Khmer woman composer and Khmer music graduate ever at

  • ‘Golden’ Angkor Wat likely due to natural phenomenon: ANA

    Pictures and video clips of the Angkor Wat temple, its spires seemingly coated in gold, have been shared tens of thousands of times on social media, prompting a sense of wonder among those who have seen them. Hong Sam Ath, who took the pictures and

  • Pailin longan winery tries to break through to the big time

    Longan aren’t quite as glamorous as some fruits. They don’t have the star-power of mangos or generate the excitement of a pricey seasonal niche fruit like the pungent durian. Unlike bananas or oranges, which are known and loved everywhere, longan remains a decidedly

  • Debt restructuring over, time to tackle rising NPL ratio

    The Cambodian banking system has just completed a 26-month debt restructuring exercise where scores of loan accounts were revised, classified and provisioned as the rate of non-performing loans inched up, sparking a slight credit risk unease Implemented in April 2020, the Covid-19 debt restructuring measures came

  • Koh Slaket studio resort brings culture with style

    Davitra (Cambodia) Co Ltd’s multi-million-dollar 13ha Koh Slaket studio-cum-resort just east of the capital was inaugurated in the first phase on August 6, providing national and international tourists with a new travel option and job opportunities for locals. The man-made cultural and scenic lakefront getaway