Pilot programme to allow certain fully vaxxed International travellers to skip quarantine

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Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob has announced new relaxations for travellers returning or coming to Malaysia starting Monday, 18 October

Ismail said the COVID-19 Pandemic Management Special Committee has agreed to relax several standard operating procedures (SOPs) for inbound travellers and certain identified groups.

Under the relaxed SOPs, the government has decided to halve the quarantine period for fully vaccinated travellers returning or coming to Malaysia from 14 days to just seven days now.

“Foreign travellers who are fully vaccinated will be subjected to a seven-day home quarantine (if applicable) or at the quarantine station. Travellers without or with incomplete vaccination will have to undergo a 10-day quarantine period at the quarantine station,” he said, adding that this also applies for close contacts.

“Close contacts with a complete vaccination will undergo a seven-day home quarantine, while those unvaccinated or with incomplete vaccination will have to quarantine themselves at home for 10 days.”

Additionally, the SOPs for international travel for the purpose of Umrah has been gazetted.

“As such, pilgrims are allowed to perform umrah in line with the decision to remove the MyTravelPass requirement to go overseas from 18 October,” he stated.

The SOPs are more relaxed for certain travellers that, for now, consist of government officials to allow them to travel abroad freely from 18 October, provided they adhere to a strict and limited itinerary

This is under the government’s new protocol dubbed the “Test and Release” pilot programme that will be expanded to business travellers next, Ismail announced yesterday, 15 October.

He added that for now, the pilot programme is only available for travellers who are the head of state, ministers, deputy ministers, the various menteri besar and chief ministers, state government executive council members, members of parliament, and government officials.

Under this programme, travellers will need to present supporting documents to the National Security Council and Ministry of Health within the stipulated time frame, undergo an RT-PCR test three days before departing Malaysia, and one more at the entry point when returning to Malaysia.

According to Ismail, these conditions are limited to fully vaccinated travellers arriving from “low risk” countries. He, however, did not specify which countries these were.

Meanwhile, Selangor, Kuala Lumpur, and Putrajaya will join Melaka to enter Phase 4 of the National Recovery Plan (NRP) effective Monday

On the other hand, Kelantan, Perak, Penang, Sabah, and Kedah will enter into Phase 3.

“With the phase transition for the states stated, Malaysia as a whole is now moving into Phase 3,” Ismail said, adding that SOPs for states entering Phases 3 and 4 are available on the MKN website.

As such, the government has announced further relaxations of the SOPs that now allows Rest and service (R&R) areas at all highways nationwide to operate round-the-clock from Saturday, 16 October.

Cabs will also be allowed, starting today, to resume carrying passengers based on the vehicles’ seating capacity for all phases of the NRP. – Adapted from Says

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