Nation’s borders still closed for tourists

by SHAHEERA AZNAM SHAH/ pic by BERNAMA

MALAYSIA’S borders will continue to be closed for leisure travellers during the recovery phase of the Movement Control Order, said Senior Minister (Security Cluster) Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob (picture).

However, he said exceptions are being considered for students who are sitting for examinations abroad, business travellers and diplomats, of which each application will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.

“Our policy still remains on the borders as no one is allowed to travel internationally yet, except for certain groups such as students of universities abroad who are taking examinations, diplomats and business travellers.

“These groups of people have to apply to the authority and we will review them on a case-by-case basis. It also applies to foreigners who want to enter Malaysia such as the participants of the Malaysia My Second Home programme,” he said at a press conference in Putrajaya yesterday.

Commenting on the upcoming 2020 MotoGP sports event, Ismail Sabri said the authority has not received any application from the Youth and Sports Ministry for Malaysian contenders.

“So far, no application has been received for the sports event. However, we have to acknowledge countries such as Japan who had postponed the 2020 Tokyo Olympic and its commitment to eradicate the coronavirus,” he said.

Ismail Sabri said the government will not hesitate to close down places of interest if there is a spike in cases.

“It has been observed that certain quarters are not complying to the social distancing rule at public places, and if there is a spike in Covid-19 cases, the venue will be closed.

“I have circulated the matter to IGP Tan Sri Abdul Hamid Bador and the police will send a task force to monitor and enforce it,” he said.

Ismail Sabri added that Malaysians must adhere to the social distancing practice despite the looser movement restrictions to avoid giving rise to another wave of the pandemic.

“This pandemic is unprecedented and Malaysians have to practise self-discipline in their daily routine by avoiding large crowds.

“The authorities may have eased the monitoring at most of the places, thus it will be our responsibility to do our part to keep the freedom,” he said.

Due to the decrease in daily positive cases and the easing of government monitoring such as roadblocks, Ismail Sabri said updates on non-health matters related to Covid-19 will no longer be presented daily and on weekends, instead, it will be announced on alternate days beginning today.