PUTRAJAYA (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - Sports and social activities, and home quarantine will be among the privileges that the Malaysian government is considering for those who are fully vaccinated against Covid-19, Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin said on Saturday (July 24).
The Prime Minister said these relaxations of Covid-19 curbs will give the Malaysian public some "breathing space" after being in lockdown for a while.
"The government is now assessing what flexibilities or privileges that we can give to those who have completed their vaccination doses.
"Within the next few days, I will announce this as a total package of dine-in, sports and social activities that will be allowed for those who are fully vaccinated.
"I hope these (relaxations) can give the people a bit of room or breathing space to live a slightly better life," said Tan Sri Muhyiddin to reporters at a special media interview.
The Prime Minister said the government acknowledged that staying cooped up at home due to the pandemic restrictions has taken its toll on people's mental health.
Swamped by a third wave of Covid-19, Malaysia re-imposed a nationwide lockdown on May 12.
The lockdown, dubbed Movement Control Order 3.0, has since been extended with a majority of businesses now shuttered for a third month as the number of cases remain high.
On Saturday, its daily infections set a record for second day in a row with 15,902 cases. It reported 15,573 cases on Friday.
Mr Muhyiddin said the government is also considering removing the requirement for fully vaccinated travellers arriving in Malaysia to be quarantined at designated facilities.
"We are mulling some options for travellers or Malaysians returning from abroad. They can undergo quarantine at home instead of at a hotel or a centre. This will save costs.
"They may be given a wrist tracker and will have to take a swab test before exiting quarantine," said Mr Muhyiddin.
Since Malaysia shut its border last March, all travellers arriving in the country must undergo a mandatory 14-day quarantine.
Under the Periodic Commuting Arrangement, Malaysians returning home from Singapore were previously given an exemption to serve only a seven-day home quarantine and undergo a swab test.
But since May 13, such rules have been tightened with the quarantine period increased to 14 days after community cases involving new Covid-19 variants were reported in the republic.
A recent online petition asking for Malaysians in Singapore to be allowed to return home without quarantine has garnered more than 15,000 signatures.
Mr Muhyiddin said another flexibility being considered for the fully vaccinated is to allow interstate travel for long-distance couples.
"These are all still being finalised," he said.