Borders eased for certain foreigners

Borders eased for certain foreigners

PUTRAJAYA: Putrajaya has decided to open the country’s international borders for certain people to enter and for some Malaysians to leave, Senior Minister for Security Ismail Sabri Yaakob announced today.

He said foreigners allowed into the country are Category 1 expatriates, technical experts needed for work, individuals coming in for medical treatment as well as international students who were studying in Malaysia.

Meanwhile, Malaysian students who need to go abroad to continue their studies, sit for exams or for work purposes will be allowed to exit the country as long as they have letters authorising that they are required to leave.

Ismail said the foreigners will be allowed to enter Malaysia without requesting permission from the Immigration Department. However, they must still be screened for Covid-19 in their country of departure.

“If they can’t be swabbed at their country of departure, they must be swabbed upon arrival. If found negative, they don’t have to undergo mandatory quarantine for 14 days.

“However, this is only for those coming in from green zone countries. If (they come) from a red zone country, they must still conduct quarantine at home for 14 days,” he said at a press conference today.

He said there were currently four green-zone countries – Singapore, Brunei, New Zealand and Australia. However, the health ministry will be releasing a comprehensive list of green and red zone countries soon.

Ismail said the allowance for foreigners is also extended to Residence Pass-Talent holders, who are part of the senior management of companies.

Technical experts seeking to enter the country must first request for a professional visit pass through the expatriate services division online.

While those coming from green zones will not be required to undergo mandatory quarantine, they must still download the MySejahtera app for monitoring purposes, he said.

Those coming in for medical purposes, or medical tourism, must first register with the Malaysian Healthcare Travel Council. They will be allowed to travel with one person to accompany them.

Foreign students in local schools, colleges and universities wanting to return to Malaysia, whose names will be given to the Immigration Department, must register with the higher education and education ministries.

The Immigration Department is still deciding whether or not to also allow Category 2 and 3 expatriates to enter the country.

He said Malaysian students who need to go abroad to resume their studies or sit for exams must produce a letter proving that they are required to exit the country for those purposes.

“For Malaysians who need to exit the country over urgent or business matters, they need to produce documentary evidence to the Immigration officers at the airport,” he said.

Ismail said Putrajaya is discussing with Singapore and Brunei on allowing citizens from both countries to freely cross borders without being screened or to undergo mandatory quarantine.

He said Putrajaya is willing to loosen restrictions for the entry of citizens of both countries into Malaysia, but these rules must also apply to Malaysian visitors there.

“This means we will start to open up our country to Singaporeans and Bruneians to enter the country without needing to apply to the Immigration Department and without needing to be screened or quarantined.

“This will depend on the negotiations between the foreign ministries, so we’ll wait and see how the negotiations go,” he said.

Other RMCO relaxations

Ismail said Putrajaya has agreed to allow non-contact training for watersports and swimming to begin at set sessions with a limited number of participants.

This is only for national and state athletes, club and swimming academy swimmers in certain training programmes, and participants of learn-to-swim programmes.

This will be subject to standard operating procedures, including 3m to 5m social distancing in the pool, and chlorine-level tests every two hours.

Swimming clubs, academies and pool operators are to register with the international trade and industry ministry online. This will come into effect from June 25.

He said Putrajaya will also allow private and public pools to operate in hotels and recreational clubs, subject to strict adherence to the SOPs.

Source: FMT News

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