PETALING JAYA (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - Malaysia will from Wednesday (April 28) temporarily bar flights from and to India to stop a new Covid-19 variant from entering the country, said Senior Minister (Security) Ismail Sabri Yaakob.
Ships and Indian citizens with Malaysian work permits will also be denied entry, he added on Monday (April 26).
In his daily update on the movement control order (MCO), he said the National Security Council (NSC) has agreed to the proposal by the Health Ministry to bar those from India.
An exemption will be given to Malaysian citizens who want to return home, but they will undergo the mandatory 14-day quarantine upon entry.
"The NSC has agreed to temporarily bar flights from and to India.
"All travellers who began from any Indian destination, be it via direct or transit flights, are barred from entering Malaysia.
"This ban will also apply to travellers who are transiting in Malaysia to a third country. However, exemption will be given to Malaysian citizens," Datuk Seri Ismail said.
"Ships with a voyage history of being in India within the last 14 days are not allowed to sign off in Malaysia except for crew members who are Malaysian citizens, who would have to undergo the mandatory quarantine of 14 days upon entry," he said in a statement.
Malaysia will also temporarily bar the entry of foreign workers from India who hold valid temporary working passes.
"There will also be a temporary ban on international students and business travellers from India," said Mr Ismail.
However, he said, Malaysian students, workers, spouses and children of Malaysian citizens who are currently residing in India, as well as religious groups who were in India, are allowed entry but must undergo quarantine in gazetted stations.
"Non-citizens who are spouses of Malaysian citizens are also allowed entry with quarantine. All the bans will be effective as of April 28," he said.
India has seen a big jump of hundreds of thousands of Covid-19 cases each day, in the past few days due to the emergence of a new virus variant.
India's coronavirus infections hit a record peak for a fifth day on Monday with 353,991 new cases.