Malaysia shortens quarantine period for travellers with Covid-19 booster shots to five days

Travellers with booster shots would need to take a PCR test two days prior to travelling, on the day of their arrival and on the fourth day of their stay. PHOTO: AFP

PETALING JAYA (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - Travellers who have received booster shots are only required to undergo a five-day quarantine upon arrival in Malaysia effective on Monday (Jan 24), said Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin.

He said travellers with booster shots would need to undergo a Covid-19 polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test two days prior to travelling, on the arrival day and on the fourth day of quarantine; or use a rapid test kit (RTK) on the fifth day supervised by health officers.

Travellers will be released from the quarantine period if the results of the PCR on the fourth day or RTK on the fifth day are negative.

He added that the quarantine period for fully vaccinated travellers without booster shots would be seven days, while quarantine for travellers who are unvaccinated or partially vaccinated would be 10 days.

"The decision was made based on data, science and the experience of the other countries that have been managing international travellers," Mr Khairy said at a press conference on Thursday (Jan 20).

The Health Minister also said that all travellers who entered the country would not be required to wear the pink surveillance wristbands.

However, he added that travellers from high-risk countries, who were allowed to do home quarantine, would still be required to wear a digital surveillance bracelet.

Temperature checks at premises are set to be a thing of the past in the country, added Mr Khairy.

He said that soon, individuals only need to use the MySejahtera comtact tracing app to check in upon entering premises.

"The ministry has agreed to remove temperature checks from the Covid-19 protocol. This proposal will be brought to the weekly Quartet Ministers meeting and the National Security Council (MKN) for endorsement," he said.

Mr Khairy said individuals, however, are still required to show their vaccination certificates before entering shops and restaurants.

"As per the MKN protocol, you will still be required to show you are fully vaccinated when asked by premises owners, and you can be refused entry.

"And premises owners will also be ensuring that physical distancing is observed and that people wear masks when not eating.

"The ministry also recommends that people switch on the MySejahtera Bluetooth tracing feature, which will be very useful for contact tracing.

"It is not compulsory but highly recommended. The feature will inform you if you are a casual contact. It does not mean you have to be quarantined; you just monitor yourself for symptoms," said Mr Khairy.

Mr Jawahar Ali Taib Khan, president of the Malaysian Indian Muslim Restaurant Owners Association, said that the association welcomes the latest protocol updates by the ministry.

"The removal of the temperature screening at restaurants will mean less hassle for the patrons," he said.

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