KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 1 — A statewide order restricting travel between districts in Sabah will take effect from 12.01am this Saturday to October 16.

Senior Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob who announced the decision by the government today said essential services such as food supplies, medicine, security and others are allowed to carry out trips crossing districts.

He also confirmed that the control on inter-district movement from October 3 to October 16 would not prevent the return of those released from Covid-19 quarantine to their homes whether these are located within or outside of Sabah.

“During this period, those who are undergoing quarantine and will complete the quarantine period are allowed to return to their respective districts or return to Semenanjung, Sarawak and Labuan,” he said in a statement.

“However, the targeted enhanced movement control order (TEMCO) in four districts namely Tawau, Lahad Datu, Kunak and Semporna that were previously announced remain in force as usual,” he said, referring to the TEMCO in the four districts that were previously announced to be in effect for 14 days from September 29 until October 12 and to affect 962,661 residents there.

Under the existing TEMCO for the four Sabah districts, all residents are not allowed to leave their respective districts while visitors would not be allowed to enter, with all entry and exit points closed and with all businesses closed, and with only premises providing essential goods and services allowed to remain open.

Ismail Sabri today said that the Sabah state government would provide notification of any further information via the Sabah Covid-19 Disaster Management Committee chaired by the secretary to the state government.

Speculation had been rife on social media that Sabah would be placed under a state-wide “lockdown” this Friday, but the Sabah chapter of the National Security Council (NSC) yesterday rubbished the claim.

The Sabah NSC said the rumour is untrue, adding that TEMCO has only been imposed in the four districts of Tawau, Lahad Datu, Kunak and Semporna, and that the purported “lockdown” at other districts were only at the proposal stage.

Today, Ismail Sabri reminded Malaysians to not be influenced by fake news and not to spread such speculation, further urging the public to check the veracity of news before circulating them.

He also reminded Malaysians that legal action can be taken against those who spread fake news.