KUCHING, June 3 — Malaysians will be allowed to enter Sarawak next Tuesday without undergoing quarantine, but must first test negative for Covid-19, the state government announced today.
Sarawak Deputy Chief Minister Douglas Uggah Embas announced today that Malaysian citizens from the peninsula, Sabah and Labuan would be allowed to travel to Sarawak beginning June 9, regardless of the mode of transport, under the strict condition of undergoing a PCR test at their place of origin three days before entering the state.
PCR tests in private labs cost hundreds of ringgit, averaging between RM350 and RM500. The Ministry of Health (MOH) provides free coronavirus testing, but it is limited to its targeted high-risk groups and for others, strict conditions are imposed before screening, such as overseas travel history and the presence of symptoms.
“Effective June 9, 2020, all citizens entering Sarawak by air, land and sea, including civil servants located in Peninsula, Sabah and Labuan must carry out Covid-19 (PCR) testing at their respective places or states three days before they enter Sarawak,” Uggah told a press conference today, and further emphasised that this applies only to Malaysian citizens.
All citizens who travelled overseas and underwent quarantine in the peninsula, the Release Order from the Ministry of Health (MOH) (Annex 17) must be presented with a negative Covid-19 test result before entering the state of Sarawak.
As for citizens with overseas travel history but were not quarantined in the peninsula or had transited from the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) to Sarawak, they would be required to undergo a mandatory 14-day quarantine at a hotel, said the Deputy Chief Minister.
“The cost of their accommodation will be fully borne by the Sarawak government effective June 1,” said Uggah.
Sabah has also similarly mandated negative test results for Malaysians, including Sabahans, entering the state for work purposes, removing a 14-day quarantine requirement. Malaysians from the peninsula, Sarawak, and Labuan will have to produce work passes and get tested for Covid-19 three days before entering the state.
Uggah further reported today that child care centres (taska) would be allowed to resume operations beginning June 9, the end date of the current Conditional Movement Control Order (CMCO) that was implemented in the state on May 12. Putrajaya has yet to announce if the CMCO will be extended beyond June 9.
“Taska will be allowed to operate on June 9, 2020, with enforcement of strict SOP (Standard Operating Procedures),” said Uggah, adding that the SOP for taska should be available by tomorrow or Thursday.
“YB Dato Sri Hajah Fatimah [Abdullah] is finalising, already finalised actually, now they are going to engage all the operators of taska to explain the SOP,” he explained, referring to the Sarawak Minister of Welfare and Community Wellbeing, Women, Family and Childhood Development.
The Sarawak Disaster Management Committee (SDMC) also reported that the committee is currently refining the SOP for the reopening of recreational parks, hair salons, fitness centres, and photography studios, as Sarawak’s Covid-19 epidemiological curve consistently shows a decline. The announcement for the resumption of these businesses and locations will be announced in the near future.
SDMC reported zero new Covid-19 positive cases today, which marks the seventh consecutive day of zero new cases. Sarawak’s total Covid-19 cases remains at 552 cases. One new discharged case was reported today, which brings the total of discharged cases to 520, or a 94.2 per cent recovery rate.
As many as 14 Persons-Under-Investigation (PUI), were reported with six of them still pending Covid-19 test results. The development of Active Detection Activity (ACD) results in Belawai, Tanjung Manis showed that all 339 samples taken were negative for Covid-19.
As of today, a total of 45,710 Home Surveillance Orders have been issued and 35,640 have completed Home Quarantine (Release Order). A total of 10,070 Home Surveillance orders are still active.
Update at 8.30pm: The headline and lede were amended to replace the word “non-Sarawakians” with “Malaysians” after an editing error.