Malaysians abroad encouraged to test before flying home, preschools to reopen July 1

Govt makes it mandatory for returnees making their way home to test for the coronavirus before they are allowed to self-quarantine


ALL Malaysians returning from abroad are encouraged to take swab tests and present a certificate to confirm that they are free from Covid-19 to avoid test result delays at airports upon their arrival.

The government has made it mandatory for returnees making their way home, which average hundreds daily, to test for the coronavirus before they are allowed to self-quarantine for two weeks.

The health check could take time and cause a backlog at airports, the government said.

Senior Minister (Security Cluster) Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob has recommended all Malaysians to consider getting tested abroad before they return to the country.

“They are now given the option to do swab tests on their own overseas. If they can show proof that they are negative, they can skip the delays and go home where they will self-quarantine for two weeks.

“They will then be tested for a second time. The problem we have now is there are too many that need to be tested on a daily basis, which will cause delays to the test results. Returnees may have to wait it out at the airport or be put at quarantine centres if the wait is longer,” he said in his daily briefing yesterday.

Putrajaya has tried to accommodate tens of thousands of returnees who must be isolated to prevent infections throughout the Movement Control Order (MCO) period by turning hotels and public training institutes into quarantine centres.

Following the easing of several containment measures under the Recovery MCO (RMCO) and a decline in new Covid-19 cases, the government is now allowing returnees to self-quarantine at home.

Over 50,000 returnees have been quarantined since April 3. On Sunday, 212 Malaysians arrived at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport from Indonesia, Singapore, Qatar, China and Hong Kong.

Meanwhile, the administration has announced the reopening of all places of worship subjected to standard guidelines provided by the Ministry of Health.

All mosques in the Federal Territories will now be allowed to operate at regular hours but at one-third of their usual capacity.

The same applies to 5,230 non-Muslim places of worship nationwide. Health guidelines on mosques vary depending on state as matters on the religion of Islam fall under state jurisdiction.

Those that are in operation are required to keep a record of their congregation and conduct body temperature checks upon entry. The MySejahtera government app is prescribed for contact tracing.

Ismail Sabri also said preschools and kindergartens will be re-opened starting July 1, while the standard operating procedures to be enforced will soon be announced by the Ministry of Education (MoE).

This will involve 6,216 preschools under MoE, as well as 7,887 private preschools and 1,781 kindergartens under the Ministry of National Unity, plus 8,530 kin- dergartens under the Ministry of Rural Development.

Authorities arrested 63 individuals for violating RMCO curbs on Sunday, Ismail Sabri added.

These included 44 arrests involving activities at night clubs and pubs, 12 arrests at reflexology centres and seven activities where social distancing was not feasible.