KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 10 — The federal government has today officially announced the lifting of full interstate travel restrictions beginning tomorrow, October 11.
In a special address, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob said the announcement follows the promise made by the government on allowing interstate travel after the overall vaccination rate threshold is reached.
“Alhamdulillah, the adult population vaccination rate under the National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme (NIP) has reached 90 per cent.
“Therefore, the government has allowed interstate travel for those who have been fully vaccinated without the need to apply for permission from the authorities beginning tomorrow, Monday, October 11,” he said.
He also said the government has agreed to allow Malaysians traveling abroad without the need to apply for the MyTravelPass from the Immigration Department beginning tomorrow as well.
“The government has agreed to abolish the use of MyTravelPass which means that all Malaysians wishing to travel overseas, including for tourism purposes, are now allowed on the condition that they are fully vaccinated,” he said.
On September 22, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob said interstate travel would resume when 90 per cent of the adult population in Malaysia have been fully vaccinated
According to the National Security Council, complete vaccinations are defined as those who have passed 14 days from the day they received their second dose for vaccines requiring two shots (Pfizer, AstraZeneca, Moderna, Sinopharm and Sinovac).
As for vaccines requiring only one shot (Johnson & Johnson and CanSino), complete vaccination is defined as those who have passed 28 days upon receiving their shots.
In a press conference later, Ismail Sabri assured that the interstate travel relaxation will not be rescinded should Covid-19 infections begin resurfacing now that people were able to travel freely.
“As I have mentioned, interstate travel relaxation will be enforced even if there is a surge in Covid-19 cases. I would like to assure everyone that businesses and livelihood will continue normally even if we have to close off certain areas.
“In fact, we can ensure not a single place needs to be cordoned off if we all adhere to the standard operating procedures,” he said.
On whether mandatory testing for Covid-19 is needed now that interstate travel is allowed, Ismail Sabri said those traveling, especially to one’s hometown, are encouraged to utilise the numerous self-test kits available in the market for personal screening.
“Actually, the government is not making it compulsory to self-test every interstate journey whether it’s RT-PCR or RTK‑Antigen. But as I have said, it is our own responsibility to protect our family.
“Where is the harm in ensuring our parents are safe if we were to screen ourselves for any infections? Therefore, (self-testing) is encouraged for the sake of our parents in our hometown,” he said.
He also clarified that authorities may conduct random checks for the purpose of determining one’s vaccination status while also denying that specific police roadblocks will be set up for interstate travel purposes.
“If the authorities suddenly want to check those returning to their hometown on whether they have received two doses of vaccine or not they are allowed to. But not to the extent of conducting mandatory checks at Rest & Relaxation (RnR) areas along highways.
“It is up to their discretion if they want to conduct checks wherever they wish,” he said.
As for international travellers, Ismail Sabri pointed out that the country’s border was still closed to tourists as of today with the exception of those traveling for emergency, business or official purposes despite the government lifting domestic travel restrictions.
“The Health Ministry is still studying the prospect of reopening our borders but Insha Allah we will make an announcement soon.
“Since almost all the countries worldwide have already vaccinated their citizens, perhaps this development will be taken into consideration by the Health Ministry in their deliberation towards reopening our borders.
“But as I have mentioned in the Dewan Negara, there are six criterias to be considered before we allow anyone into the country,” he said.
On October 7, Ismail Sabri told the Dewan Negara there were six factors to be considered before foreign travellers can be granted entry to Malaysia, namely the number of Covid-19 cases recorded by their countries in the past 14 days, the incidence rate per million population, the mortality rate per million population, cumulative mortality rate, recovery index, and the cumulative total of the cases in their respective countries.