ISKANDAR PUTERI, Feb 18 — The Health Ministry (MOH) has been given two to three weeks to present to the Cabinet proposals and standard operating procedures (SOP) for the reopening of the country’s borders.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob said a decision on whether to open the borders must be looked into carefully as the government has been receiving a lot of feedback on the matter, including public views for more intervention to be done by the government, especially with regards to SOP and so on due to concerns on Covid-19 transmission.

“If there was a choice, we would like to open up the economy, especially since tourism income is huge, which will help the nation but at the same time we need to protect the people… so a balance is what is being sought by the MOH.

“We have given the MOH two to three weeks, and they have to present (their proposals) for the Cabinet to decide… whether to fully reopen the borders or with restrictions (involving) selected countries,” he told reporters after attending the Keluarga Malaysia Entrepreneur and Family Cooperative carnival in Taman Nusantara, here today.

The prime minister was responding to National Recovery Council (MPN) chairman Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin’s statement yesterday on the importance of reopening the country’s borders on March 1.

On February 8, Muhyiddin announced that MPN had agreed to proposals for Malaysia to fully reopen its borders, as early as March 1, without the need for mandatory quarantine.

The former prime minister, however, said it had to be implemented with careful planning and based on current risk assessments. — Bernama