Sabah allows visitors from other states

Sabah Chief Minister Shafie Apdal says all Malaysians are welcomed whether travelling by air, land or sea.

KOTA KINABALU: The Sabah government has decided to allow visitors from the peninsula, Sarawak and Labuan to enter the state again from today.

Chief Minister Shafie Apdal said all Malaysians, including public and private sector workers, would be welcomed whether travelling by air, land or sea.

“The government has also agreed to exempt people from being placed under quarantine provided they have undergone Covid-19 screening at their place or state of origin, and tested negative, within three days of coming to Sabah.

“A validation letter from the health ministry must be produced on arrival in the state,” he said in a statement here today.

Shafie said visitors were welcome to find accommodation at the many hotels in the state which have been operating since May 10.

In March, Sabah barred non-Sabah residents from entering the state following the federal government’s imposition of the movement control order.

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

In his statement today, Shafie explained that non-Sabahans and non-citizens were required to produce their work passes or other related documentation once they arrived in the state.

Meanwhile, Sabah Health and Wellbeing Minister Frankie Poon said he was looking at the possibility of allowing a few international direct flights after the CMCO expired on June 9 in a bid to revive the economy.

He said the use of rapid test kits in the battle against Covid-19 would make it possible to woo foreign travellers again.

“The rapid test kit is a very fast way of finding out whether a person has or does not have the Covid-19 virus, “ he said.

Tourism is one of Sabah’s most profitable sectors with some 4.19 million travellers visiting the state in 2019.

Poon said many eateries and shops still remained closed in Sabah due to the Covid-19 crisis and attributed this to “overly cautious” business owners.

He urged them to open their shops and to adopt all guidelines of the health authorities, saying if they followed the standard operating procedure, the chances of infection would be minimal.

He said the businesses needed to move forward now, noting that the creation of a vaccine would be at least two years away.

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