More countries on entry ban list – Minister

PUTRAJAYA – The government will impose an entry ban on citizens of countries recording more than 150,000 cases of COVID-19 starting next Monday (Sept 7), Senior Minister (Security Cluster) Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob announced.

He said among the countries in the list were the United States, Brazil, France, United Kingdom, Spain, Italy, Saudi Arabia, Russia and Bangladesh, as well as three countries announced previously, namely India, Indonesia and the Philippines.

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“We will add more countries deemed high-risk, which have more than 150,000 positive cases, into the list. Their citizens will be barred (from entering Malaysia).

“However, for emergency cases or involving bilateral relations, such as if a person needs to come for a meeting between countries, we will allow entry. But it requires permission from the Immigration Department,” he told reporters after chairing the Special Committee Meeting on the Embracing New Norms Campaign here, today.

He added that the Health Ministry would be announcing the details on countries which have recorded more than 150,000 positive cases of COVID-19 later.

Last Tuesday, Ismail Sabri announced an entry ban on long-term pass holders from India, Indonesia and the Philippines beginning Sept 7 due to a spike in COVID-19 cases in those countries.

The ban involves six categories of pass holders, namely those with permanent resident status (PR), Malaysia My Second Home Programme (MM2H) participants, expatriates including professional visit pass (PVP) holders and resident pass holders.

Also barred were spouses of Malaysian citizens and their children as well as students from the three countries who wanted to return to Malaysia.

Meanwhile, Ismail Sabri said the government has no problem to allow Malaysians from high-risk countries to return home but they will be subjected to the 14-day mandatory quarantine as stipulated in the standard operating procedures (SOP).

On the Embracing New Norms Campaign, he said it would be carried out until Dec 31 to ensure the people continue to adhere to the SOP in order to combat the COVID-19 pandemic.

The senior minister said various campaigns would be carried out in shopping malls, social media and print media to ensure the SOP compliance are at the highest level.

“As for now, the SOP compliance is high as Act 342 (Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases Act 1988) is in force and the police can carry out the enforcement.

“We want the people to keep practising self-control such as wearing a face mask, frequently washing their hands and maintaining physical distance,” he said.

— BERNAMA