Travellers arriving from Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Nepal, and Pakistan will now have to undergo 21 days of mandatory quarantine upon arrival in Malaysia, in light of the spread of variants of concern (VOC), Free Malaysia Today reported.
Last month, the Health Ministry in Malaysia increased the quarantine period for arrivals from India to 21 days, maintaining the 14-day duration for all other countries.
In a statement, Health Director General Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said the determination of SOPs for international arrivals was subject to periodic risk assessments.
“It is noted that the extension of this surveillance period is very important to ensure the transmission of Covid-19 infections from abroad does not occur, particularly those involving VOCs and variants of interest, which can spread more rapidly and pose a higher risk of death,” he said.
All travellers must also undergo a RT-PCR test within three days of their departure, and upon arrival in Malaysia.
For those undergoing a 14-day quarantine, a RT-PCR test will be conducted on the 10th day, and if negative, they will be released upon completion of the full two weeks. For travellers undergoing the 21-day quarantine, this test will be performed on the 18th day.
Arrivals undergoing a 14-day quarantine may have their stays extended by a week if it is deemed necessary by a risk assessment performed at the end of the first two weeks.
Noor Hisham added that numerous appeals have been made to the home surveillance order committee relating to applications for exemptions or for shortened quarantine periods.
“The health ministry understands the various personal situations they face, but at the same time needs to remain serious in the implementation of this quarantine policy to ensure that the risk of Covid-19 infection from abroad can be minimised.
“We would also like to inform that any application and appeal must go through a very strict evaluation process.” (Colombo Gazette)