Malaysia won't impose travel bans or lockdowns during Hari Raya this year: PM Ismail

Malaysia's Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob said the economic and social sectors have been allowed to return to normal. PHOTO: REUTERS

BERA (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - Malaysia will not impose any further blanket movement control orders (MCOs) or travel restrictions, including during the Hari Raya Aidilfitri celebration this year, Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob said.

If the country's Covid-19 cases increase, the enhanced MCO targeted approach will be used in the affected area, Bernama reported Datuk Seri Ismail as saying.

The Prime Minister said the economic and social sectors, as well as interstate travel, have been allowed to return to normal.

"As there has been an increase in cases in the past few days, people have speculated that they may not be able to balik raya (return home for the festive season)," said Mr Ismail at a press conference at the Bera Community Development Department (Kemas) office on Sunday (Jan 23).

"Please don't worry, we will not shut down the whole country, states or districts again."

He added: "We will focus on the areas with a lot of infections by enforcing the enhanced MCO. If a village is subject to it, then only those from that village will be disallowed from returning."

Mr Ismail, who is also Bera member of Parliament, said the standard operating procedure (SOP) for the Johor state election would be tabled in a special session of the National Security Council attended by representatives from the opposition bloc.

He said the Health Ministry would submit a detailed SOP proposal as the priority was to prevent a jump in cases due to the polls, besides taking into account the number of new coronavirus cases, which have hit 4,000 over the past few days.

"We can't be complacent and need to continue to curb the pandemic even if we say we need to live with Covid-19," said the Prime minister.

"We hope that cases drop to below 1,000 so that we can declare that Malaysia has gone from the pandemic to endemic phase."

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