PUTRAJAYA: The government will bar long-term pass holders from India, Indonesia and the Philippines from entering Malaysia due to the worsening Covid-19 situation in these countries.
Senior Minister for Security Ismail Sabri Yaakob said the new restrictions will come into force from Sept 7.
The restrictions apply to permanent residents, Malaysia My Second Home pass holders, expatriates, spousal visa holders and foreign students.
Ismail said Malaysia was keeping a close eye on countries that might suffer a possible spike in Covid-19 infections during the upcoming winter season.
Health director-general Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah yesterday said although Malaysia’s infection rate was under control, developments in other countries – such as India, South Korea, Japan, Spain and France where there was an increase in cases during the cold weather – must be taken into account.
Ismail said while Malaysia would continue to restrict the entry of foreigners into the country, he was more concerned about Malaysians returning from overseas.
“We are monitoring the situation and may issue the same restrictions on those countries if there is an increase in cases during winter,” he said.
“But what is more worrying is Malaysians in those countries who are coming home.
“We cannot stop them from coming back as it goes against the Constitution. I also believe the Immigration Act also cannot prevent our citizens from returning.”
Stressing that the country would take a holistic approach to the issue, he said the health ministry would propose a plan to minimise the risk of foreign infections through returning Malaysians from these countries.
He also said the targeted movement control order (TEMCO) in Amanjaya, Kedah, will end on Sept 10.
The TEMCO in Amanjaya, which started on Aug 28, has seen 12,533 of the 22,360 residents screened for Covid-19 so far.