KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 1 — Senior Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri today announced that long-term pass holders from India, Indonesia and the Philippines will not be allowed into Malaysia due to a spike in Covid-19 cases in those countries.
He said the new restrictions will come into force Sept 7 and apply to permanent residents, Malaysia My Second Home pass holders, expatriates, spousal visa holders and foreign students.
“The decision was made following advice from the Health Ministry to ensure Covid-19 is contained in the country,” he said during his press briefing.
Ismail Sabri said the government would also monitor the situation in other countries and had not ruled out the possibility that the same restrictions might be imposed on citizens of other countries experiencing a spike in cases.
"Nothing has been finalised yet, but we are looking into other countries that may face a spike in Covid-19 cases," he said.
Ismail Sabri, however, stressed that Malaysians returning from the three countries will be allowed home and stipulated SOPs will apply.
“We cannot stop them from coming back as it goes against the Constitution. The Immigration Act also cannot prevent our citizens from returning.”
He said the Health Ministry would propose a plan to minimise the risk of foreign infections through returning Malaysians from these countries.
Yesterday, Health director-general Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said the government is already looking four months ahead by preparing for a possible spike in Covid-19 infections due to the onset of winter in northern hemisphere countries.
He said although Malaysia's infection rate is now under control, developments in other countries, such as what happened in India, South Korea, Japan, Spain and France that saw an increase in cases during cold weather conditions, must be considered.
“So, our concern is that there will be an increase in cases during that period, and due to this, we have to make preparations,” he was quoted as saying by Bernama yesterday.