Interstate travel is still not allowed, even among areas designated as green zones, said Senior Minister (Security Cluster) Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob.
He said this is because the Ministry of Health (MoH) is still ‘sensitive’ to the issue of crossing-states permits, as the leeway given in December last year had resulted in 32 new Covid-19 clusters.
“Currently, (interstate) travel is only allowed through travel agencies, as we will know the details of the trip. If they go with a tour company, their trip will be notified to the police, who will then know which area they are going to and their travel itinerary.
“But if we allow private travel, for example, Perak is a green zone, Kedah is a green zone, Langkawi is also a green zone. Suppose people from Perak want to go to Langkawi, they have to go through Penang. How do we know if they are really going to Langkawi? Who would know if they ended up going to Penang instead?” he said.
He was speaking to reporters after a working visit to the 18th Battalion of the Royal Malay Regiment (RMR), based at the Sri Pantai Seberang Takir Camp in Kuala Nerus here on Saturday (March 20).
Meanwhile, Ismail Sabri reiterated that no one, including VIPs, would be exempt from legal action if found violating the rules or standard operating procedures (SOP) set for the prevention and control of the Covid-19 pandemic.
He said even prior to this, legal action had been taken against some VIPs such as ministers and deputy ministers for violating the SOP.
Meanwhile, Ismail Sabri said that so far, a total of 21,791 military personnel had received the Covid-19 vaccine under the first phase, which involved personnel working in the frontline such as at roadblocks, and those serving abroad like in Lebanon and the Philippines.
In another development, Ismail Sabri said the Sri Pantai Seberang Takir Camp, which houses the 18th RMR Battalion, had received an allocation of about RM30 million for development and upgrading projects.
He said this comprised the construction of a polyclinic involving an allocation of RM25 million, which would not only benefit about 800 personnel at the camp but also the nearby community, while a new mosque involving an allocation of RM5 million with the capacity to hold a congregation of 1,000 would also be open to others.
“Construction work on the health polyclinic began in January this year and is expected to be completed by January 2023. The new mosque also began construction in January this year and is expected to be ready by November next year,” he said.