Coronavirus pandemic

All entering Malaysia to serve quarantine at hotels, govt centres

PETALING JAYA • From Friday, people entering Malaysia from overseas will have to undergo their mandatory quarantine at hotels or quarantine centres.

Senior Minister for Security Ismail Sabri Yaakob, who is also Defence Minister, yesterday said this requirement applies to Malaysians and non-citizens granted entry to the country, and that they will have to bear the full cost of their stay.

Currently, those who test negative for the coronavirus upon arrival can choose to serve their 14-day quarantine at home. But this option will no longer be available from Friday.

The new rule comes amid rising Covid-19 cases after Malaysia eased its shutdown measures on June 10, allowing businesses and most social activities to resume but with social distancing protocols in place.

Recently, five cases were detected in the "Novgorod cluster", which originated from a Malaysian who had returned from Russia on July 5.

He had tested negative for the virus on arrival, but later tested positive on a second test.

Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri also said the police will no longer just advise or warn those who flout social distancing rules under the recovery phase of the country's movement control order (MCO).

"Many people seem to assume that there are no laws in place, as if the MCO has ended," he said. "The police have decided that there will be no more warnings and advice. They will take stern action against anyone who violates the MCO."

On Monday, police detained 80 individuals for violating the MCO - of which 20 were remanded, four released on bail, and another 56 fined.

Malaysia recorded 15 new coronavirus cases yesterday, lifting the total to 8,815 cases while deaths remained at 123.

Yesterday's was the third straight daily double-digit rise in infections, after the country managed to hold daily growth to single digits since movement controls were eased.


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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 22, 2020, with the headline All entering Malaysia to serve quarantine at hotels, govt centres. Subscribe