Sabah bars entry of non-Sabahans over Covid-19 fears

Chief Minister Shafie Apdal says Sabahans will not be allowed to travel out of the state and those returning home from overseas have to place themselves in self-quarantine for 14 days.

KOTA KINABALU: Sabah has barred non-Sabah residents from entering the state following the federal government’s imposition of the movement control order from tomorrow till March 31.

Chief Minister Shafie Apdal said residents who were not from Sabah would not be allowed access into the state either by air, land or sea unless they obtained special approval from the state government.

“They must also provide a medical certificate to show they are free from Covid-19,” he said in a statement here today.

He said Sabahans would also not be allowed to travel out of the state and that those returning home from overseas trips were required to go for health screening and place themselves in self-quarantine for 14 days.

Shafie said the Sabah government had also activated the state’s command centre through the state disaster committee on March 12, chaired by the state secretary.

“The state government hopes for the cooperation of the Sabah Health Department to provide the latest detailed data on Covid-19 so measures can be taken faster.

“I urge all Sabahans to comply with the movement control order as this is a responsibility that must be carried out as citizens who care for the family, community, state and our country.”

Meanwhile, Shafie said a number of services under the public and private sectors, listed as essential services, would continue to operate.

These include the Chief Minister’s Department, state finance ministry, tourism, culture and environment ministry, health and people’s wellbeing ministry and infrastructure development ministry.

All government functions, including the Kaamatan, Kalimaran and Lepa-Lepa festivals, have been cancelled.

He said the state mufti had decreed that all activities in mosques and suraus in Sabah, including Friday prayers, will be suspended from today until March 26 to allow cleaning and disinfection work to be carried out.

Shafie advised all leaders of houses of worship to do the same at their premises.

All business premises were required to close, except for retail stores, public markets and grocery shops selling daily essentials, he added.