Mandatory quarantine at designated centres beginning Friday, says Ismail Sabri

Those who undergo the mandatory quarantine, be it in hotels or other quarantine centres, will have to bear full accommodation costs

by S BIRRUNTHA/ pic by RAZAK GHAZALI

MANDATORY quarantine at designated centres or hotels will be imposed on Malaysians and non-citizens who enter the country from overseas beginning this Friday.

Senior Minister (Security Cluster) Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob said the move was decided by the special ministerial meeting of the Recovery Movement Control Order (RMCO) yesterday.

He added that those who undergo the mandatory quarantine, be it in hotels or other quarantine centres, will have to bear full accommodation costs.

“The National Disaster Management Agency together with the Health Ministry will identify and decide on the appropriate centres or hotels that will be used as quarantine stations.

“Following this decision, Malaysians who wish to return to Malaysia are no longer required to undergo a Covid-19 screening test in the origin country within three days before the flight date,” he said in his RMCO press conference yesterday.

Nevertheless, he said foreigners will still have to undergo a screening test in their respective country of origin, three days before their flight dates.

Ismail Sabri also announced that health tourists from the “green zone” countries are allowed to enter Malaysia for their treatments via commercial flights. He said the green countries are Brunei, Singapore, South Korea, Japan, Australia and New Zealand.

However, Ismail Sabri added that the matter is subject to joint discussions between the Foreign Ministry of the respective countries regarding the permission of cross-border movements.

“Those involved will need to undergo a Covid-19 screening test before departure and as soon as they arrive at the airport, they will be taken to the hospital for treatment,” he said.

As for the current issue of social distancing in public areas, Ismail Sabri said shopping malls can limit the number of visitors who enter their premises at any one time.

The senior minister said this will help enforce social distancing as implemented by the government.

“Currently, the government does not limit the number of visitors to shopping malls and allow the entry of the public without any restrictions set to the mall.

“Shopping malls can make rules for the rotation of visitors in their premises if they are worried about the violation of social distancing by some people,” he added.

Ismail Sabri also added that the police will no longer give advice and issue warnings to those who violate the standard operating procedures of the RMCO.

Instead, stern action will be taken against them, as instances of people violating the RMCO have increased recently.

He said the most significant cases of RMCO violation are by patrons of pubs and nightclubs, as well as restaurants.