KUALA LUMPUR, June 19 — Malaysia has lifted some restrictions on entering the country by allowing in top-level expatriate workers, technical experts, medical tourists, and international students.
Senior Defence Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob also said the Malaysian government has suggested allowing Singapore and Brunei citizens — both countries that have been classified by Malaysia as Covid-19 green zones — to enter Malaysia without prior approval from the Immigration Department, coronavirus screening, or home quarantine.
“However, we also want the same exemptions for our citizens,” Ismail Sabri told a press conference today.
“So the exemptions we give must have a similar response, ie: both these countries must allow our citizens to go to their countries without hindrance, like what we’re doing.”
He said this proposal depended on current negotiations between the Malaysian and Singaporean foreign ministries.
“So if they agree with our suggestion, we will give them exemptions and open up our borders.”
As for expats category EP1, or those with a professional visit pass or talent resident pass that involve top management in a company in Malaysia, they will be allowed to enter Malaysia without prior approval from immigration authorities.
However, they must either undergo a Covid-19 swab test at their country of origin or at Malaysia’s main gates. Those with negative test results do not have to be quarantined for 14 days if they come from countries designated by Malaysia’s Ministry of Health (MOH) as green zones. As of today, Malaysia has classified Singapore, Brunei, New Zealand, and Australia as green zones.
Expat workers from red zones — which Ismail Sabri said would be announced later by MOH — must be quarantined at home for 14 days upon arrival in Malaysia if they test negative for the coronavirus. All expat workers are required to download the MySejahtera mobile app for monitoring purposes.
The authorities, said Ismail Sabri, are currently discussing the entry of EP2 and EP3 category expat workers into Malaysia.
Foreign technical experts — who usually work in Malaysia for a limited time, such as two to three days — will also be permitted to enter the country. They must apply for a professional visit pass online from the expat services division.
They are also required to take a Covid-19 swab test at their country of origin or at the entry points of Malaysia and download the MySejahtera app. Like EP1 expats, foreign technical experts do not need to be quarantined for 14 days with a negative test result if they come from green zones.
Foreigners who want to visit Malaysia for medical tourism purposes also do not need prior approval from the Immigration Department. They are instead required to register with the Malaysia Healthcare Travel Council (MHTC).
Like other foreign visitors, medical tourists must get screened for Covid-19 with a swab test at their country of origin or at the main gates of Malaysia. However, they don’t need to be quarantined if they test negative for Covid-19, as they will be taken immediately to the hospital for treatment. They are also allowed to bring a companion and must download the MySejahtera app.
International students studying at international schools or universities in Malaysia will be allowed to return to Malaysia to continue their studies without prior approval from the Immigration Department. But they need to register with the Education Ministry or the Higher Education Ministry that will provide immigration authorities with a list of students entering the country.
Like other foreign visitors, international students must get screened for Covid-19 with a swab test at their country of origin or at the main gates of Malaysia. If test results are negative, they do not need to be quarantined if they come from a green zone, but 14-day quarantine at home is mandatory if they come from other countries. International students are also required to download the MySejahtera app.
As for Malaysian students who want to return overseas to continue their studies, they can leave the country without prior approval from the Immigration Department, but they are required to show proof that they are going abroad for their studies or to sit for exams.
“With a letter, they can leave the country without getting prior approval from the Immigration Department,” said Ismail Sabri.
Malaysians who want to travel abroad for emergency medical purposes or special meetings will also be allowed to do so without applying for permission from the Immigration Department; they just need to show proof at the exit points of the country.
“This allows our people to go overseas and pursue necessary activities abroad.”
Singapore has recorded over 41,000 Covid-19 cases, mostly among foreign workers in workers’ dormitories, and recorded no new case yesterday. Brunei only has 141 Covid-19 cases, with no new cases reported yesterday.
On June 16, New Zealand reported two new Covid-19 cases, the country’s first cases in 24 days. The pair were reportedly diagnosed a week after the last confirmed case in New Zealand recovered from Covid-19.
Australia has over 7,000 Covid-19 cases, lower than Malaysia’s 8,529 cases, and recorded 18 new cases yesterday.