KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 8 – Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob today announced that Malaysia will reopen its international borders effective April 1.
In a statement here today, outlining the country’s transition to the endemic phase later on, he said the new phase would be the exit plan long awaited by the people towards normality after two years of restrictions under the Covid-19 pandemic.
He said the decision was arrived after taking into account the risk factors, the views of the Health Ministry, and the Quartet of Covid-19 Ministers.
The transitional phase was also taken in line with the latest facts related to Covid-19, the need to reopen the borders just like in other countries and to make it convenient for travellers as Malaysia will be open to all travellers.
With the opening of the borders again, visitors are welcomed to the country while Malaysians with valid travel documents can travel out, the Prime Minister said, adding that this would once again revitalise the tourism industry which had been badly hit by the pandemic.
In view of the Omicron wave worldwide, he said Malaysians wishing to travel abroad will have to just activate their MySejahtera application and fill up the Pre-Departure Form through the Traveller function in MySejahtera. They would also have to take the Covid-19 test two days before travel date and within 24 hours upon return.
While there was a significant increase in Covid-19 cases in the past few weeks due to the Omicron wave, the number of cases under category 3, 4 and 5 only accounted for 0.7 percent. The number of patients requiring treatment and monitoring under the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) is also under control with 42 percent take up in hospitals.
A good part of the population have been vaccinated and hence the opening up of the country in a safe manner as planned by the ministers reponsible, namely Senior Defence Minister Dato’ Seri Hishammuddin Hussein; Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin; Finance Minister Tengku Zafrul; and Communications and Multimedia Minister Tan Sri Annuar Musa will continue to progress, Ismail Sabri said.
He said the transition period would be temporary and the endemic phase will happen only upon an announcement from the World Health Organization.
Meanwhile people will still have to comply with several SOPs effective April 1, namely the use of face masks at public places, the use of MySejahtera application will still apply for entry into premises except at open areas, places that are not crowded and where there is no large gatherings.
MYSJTrace remains compulsory in premises filled with patrons/guests.
Ismail Sabri also said the time limit set for business operations will now be taken off. Business owners can carry out their businesses according to their licenses.
Among other restrictions removed is social distancing at mosques and other places of worship. The final SOP on this will however will rest with the respective states.
As for gatherings, the 50 percent capacity limit will be removed, but social distancing will still be encouraged.