Rules must be beneficial for travel with Singapore, says Ismail Sabri

Senior Minister (Security) Ismail Sabri Yaakob hopes discussions on opening the border can continue for people from both countries to enter without restrictions, quarantine or stringent restrictions. (File pic)

PUTRAJAYA: Senior Minister (Security) Ismail Sabri Yaakob said the government will be reviewing entry requirements for Singaporeans travelling into the country.

This will depend on the outcome of bilateral discussions between the foreign ministries of both governments, he told a press conference updating the Covid-19 situation in the country.

He said Singapore has yet to ease the entry criteria for the 250,000 Malaysians who work in the country.

“We are still waiting for them to do so.”

Ismail hoped the matter can be solved urgently so that the government can continue to open up the border with Singapore, allowing citizens from both countries to enter without restrictions, quarantine or stringent restrictions.

He said currently, Singaporeans who are a part of Malaysia’s My Second Home programme were allowed to enter without needing to be quarantined for 14 days if they test negative for Covid-19.

“However, they need to be tested before they enter the country. Singapore might not have a policy of requiring testing if the person has no symptoms, but Singapore must provide a fit-to-travel certificate to their citizens so they can enter Malaysia.”

Meanwhile, when asked about 1,400 citizens under home quarantine who had returned home from overseas and have yet to go for their second screening, Ismail warned that police may compel them to do so.

“Even though they are allowed to undergo quarantine at home, there are SOPs that they need to follow, such as wearing wristbands to show they are negative to the virus.”

He reminded them that they need to go for a second test on the 13th day of quarantine. “We will then cut off the wristband if they are free of symptoms and test negative.

“It is up to them if they want to wait for the police to come or go to the clinics themselves for their second screening.”

Speaking on mandatory home quarantine, Ismail said 7,611 individuals who arrived through the KLIA had been screened for Covid-19 from June 10-30.

Out of that number, 7,575 were found negative for the virus but were undergoing mandatory isolation at their respective homes. A total of 36 individuals found positive were sent to hospitals for treatment.

Yesterday, 428 Malaysians arrived at KLIA and klia2 from China, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Pakistan, Japan, Qatar and India. All were ordered to go on mandatory quarantine at home.

On a separate matter, he said traditional reflexology and massage treatments, such as “bekam” (post-natal massage), were also allowed effective today.

He added that activities such as religious classes, Doha prayers, al-Quran recitals and religious talks (kuliyah) before congregational prayers will also be allowed at both mosques and suraus at all times of the day, starting from this week, with SOPs and social distancing rules in place.

“Under the recovery movement control order, the government has reopened almost all economic and social sectors and daily activities in an effort to instil a culture of the new normal and self-regulation to curb the spread of the disease.“

He added that the prime minister will launch a nationwide awareness campaign on the “new normal” practices by the end of the month.


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