Fully vaccinated Malaysians may soon be allowed to travel freely in the country

Malaysia will on April 17 begin a crucial second phase of its vaccination roll-out.
Malaysia will on April 17 begin a crucial second phase of its vaccination roll-out.PHOTO: REUTERS

KUCHING (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - Malaysians who have received two doses of the Covid-19 vaccine may be allowed to travel freely between states and districts, Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin said on Thursday (April 1).

He said the latest international research on the vaccine indicated that those who have been given two doses and a certificate could travel anywhere.

"There were earlier views that those who have been vaccinated may be protected from infection but could be a potential carrier of the virus. But now, it has been found that this is not true.

"I have discussed this in the NSC (National Security Council) meeting. We want to decide if this is the case, those who have received two doses can travel across states and districts," he said at a town hall session in the capital of Sarawak.

"Boleh ke sana ke sini (go anywhere) without being stopped by the authorities," he said.

Malaysia currently bans most travel between its 13 states, unless for work purposes.

So far, 215,395 people, or 0.7 per cent, of Malaysia's 32 million population, have received both doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech doses. A total of 621,417 people as at Tuesday (March 30) have received one vaccine dose.

Malaysia has secured vaccines to cover its entire population, and will on April 17 begin a crucial second phase of its vaccination roll-out, inoculating senior citizens and other high-risk groups.

Tan Sri Muhyiddin, who was responding to a question about vaccination, said the loosening was not an incentive but an encouragement for those who had been vaccinated and given a digital certificate.

He said it did not mean that the people could now start travelling to different states for a holiday.

"If you have not been vaccinated and do not have a digital certificate, then you cannot go. But if you have received two doses, then you can fly anywhere," he said.

PM Muhyiddin also indicated that international travel could soon be possible for those who had been vaccinated.

"We have started talks with several countries to allow our citizens who have received two doses with the certificate to travel," he said.

Malaysia on Thursday reported 1,178 new Covid-19 cases to raise the cumulative total to 346,678. There were six more deaths to Covid-19 to bring the total to 1,278.

A total of 331,001 infected people have recovered.