Govt to be more strict on reopening borders, says minister

Senior minister for security, Ismail Sabri Yaakob, said an increase in new infections had been reported in several countries.

PUTRAJAYA: Reopening the borders will be the last thing for the government to consider in its fight against Covid-19 to prevent the spread of infections, said senior minister for security Ismail Sabri Yaakob.

He said the government had previously considered reopening the country’s borders to allow entry of foreign workers from Thailand and Indonesia but had to put it on hold following the current Covid-19 situation which saw many imported cases being reported.

“The special ministerial meeting yesterday decided that we would be more strict in terms of reopening the country’s borders as there are countries which have experienced an increase in the number of infections due to imported cases after relaxing their borders,” he told reporters here today.

He was commenting on a call by AirAsia Group chief executive Tony Fernandes for Asean leaders in “green zone” countries to consider reopening their borders.

Ismail Sabri said at the moment no country can be considered as Covid-19 green zones.

He said the government had previously identified six green zone countries for conditional reopening of international borders. These were Singapore, Brunei, New Zealand, Japan, Australia and South Korea.

However, the matter would be reconsidered after several countries including South Korea and Australia recorded an increase in the number of new cases.