TEMPO.CO, Jakarta – Vaccination in Malaysia has reached 90 percent of the adult population, so the government has begun to relax restrictions. Fully vaccinated citizens are free to travel between states and abroad starting tomorrow.
“With this, people are free to travel to their hometowns to visit their parents, take vacations and so on,” Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob said in a televised special address as quoted by the press. Free Malaysia Today, Sunday, October 10, 2021.
It will be the first time since January that interstate travel will be allowed without the need for police clearance. Malaysians have also been banned from traveling abroad for unofficial or emergency reasons since the start of the pandemic in March last year
However, he reminded the public not to be careless because it could lead to an increase in Covid-19 cases.
“For example, if you want to return to your hometown to see your parents or travel to another state, get tested for Covid-19 before starting your trip,” he said.
“For those who have symptoms such as fever, cough, flu and difficulty breathing, please postpone your travel plans.”
Ismail stressed that only those who have been fully vaccinated can travel.
While there will be no roadblocks for those traveling to other states, authorities will still carry out random checks on their vaccination status.
Ismail also announced that the government has removed the #MyTravelPass program for Malaysians who wish to travel abroad starting tomorrow.
However, this only applies to travelers who are fully vaccinated but still have to undergo mandatory quarantine upon their return to Malaysia.
He also said that the Covid-19 restrictions remained in place for those who had not been vaccinated.
This, he said, includes not only interstate or international travel, but activities such as dining on the spot.
Ismail said as the country moves towards an endemic phase, people need to take greater self-care measures, including self-testing if they develop symptoms, reporting their situation, self-isolating, informing close contacts of their status and seeking medical care.
He also reminds owners of premises, be it shops, gyms, offices and so on, to check the vaccination status and risks of those who wish to enter their premises.
“We allow Malaysians to travel to any other country, but our country is still not open to foreign travelers, except for emergency and business matters. But the health ministry is investigating this.”
Ismail said the government had not set a date for Malaysia’s entry into the endemic phase.
The Ministry of Health and the National Security Council are considering reviewing and possibly reducing the number of standard operating procedures (SOPs) for the endemic phase.
“What matters is what we do to protect ourselves. The only ones who can make sure the SOPs are followed are us.”
He also said that despite an increase in cases in some areas, the government would not close all areas.
“For example, if a case is detected in a hotel in Langkawi, we will not lock down the entire island. What we need to do is close the hotel.”
“I know there are concerns we will go into lockdown as before if the number of cases rises,” he said. “I want to give my assurances that life will go on as usual, although we will close certain areas.”