Coronavirus Global situation

Malaysia cuts quarantine for fully inoculated travellers to seven days

PETALING JAYA • Fully vaccinated travellers entering Malaysia will begin serving a reduced quarantine period of seven days from tomorrow, said Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin.

Mr Khairy said yesterday that aside from travellers entering Malaysia, close contacts of Covid-19 cases and individuals given supervision orders will also be subject to the seven-day quarantine period provided they have been fully vaccinated.

Those eligible for the reduction include any Malaysian citizen, permanent resident, expatriate or any other foreigner allowed to enter the country from overseas, he said.

Individuals returning from high-risk infection areas are also allowed to undergo the reduced quarantine period. "Those who are not vaccinated or have yet to complete their Covid-19 vaccine doses should undergo a quarantine period of 10 days," added Mr Khairy in a statement.

He also said individuals who are not vaccinated or have yet to complete their vaccination doses and are currently at day eight or above of their mandatory quarantine can also take a polymerase chain reaction test to end their self-isolation.

"If the Covid-19 test result is negative, they will be granted a release order on Oct 18," he said.

Mr Khairy added that the existing guidelines are relevant and will be enforced, with the public reminded to comply with the established regulations.

Failure to comply with quarantine procedures is an offence under the Prevention and Control of Infectious Disease Act 1988.

Earlier yesterday, Malaysian Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob urged unvaccinated individuals in the country to consider getting their Covid-19 jabs to avoid losing out on many perks.

"We've not made any decision to make vaccines mandatory. But I'm encouraging those who are unvaccinated to get your jabs. You'll lose out on many privileges if you don't," he said.

"You won't be able to balik kampung (return to their home towns) even if you haven't returned for a long time. Even if you tried to sneak your way, you can get caught, like how the police recently arrested two individuals."

Malaysia has reopened inter-state travel since last Monday after the country hit the 90 per cent mark for adults aged 18 and above fully inoculated against Covid-19.

Datuk Seri Ismail also said the unvaccinated would be unable to go for their umrah pilgrimage or possibly perform the haj next year when Saudi Arabia allows it.

"That's because they only accept travellers who are fully vaccinated," said Mr Ismail at a press conference after visiting the Seri Perak public housing flats yesterday.

He also said the unvaccinated would be unable to dine at restaurants with their family or pray at a mosque.

Malaysia's Health Ministry reported 7,509 new Covid-19 cases yesterday, bringing the cumulative total infections in the country to more than 2.38 million.

Another 89 deaths due to Covid-19 were recorded on Friday. About 67.5 per cent of Malaysia's total population have been fully vaccinated.

THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on October 17, 2021, with the headline 'Malaysia cuts quarantine for fully inoculated travellers to seven days'. Subscribe