Khairy admits daily PCR Covid tests ‘impractical’, says regular commuters to Malaysia’s neighbours will have separate protocol

Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin speaks during a press conference in Kuala Lumpur March 9, 2022. ― Bernama pic

KUALA LUMPUR, March 9 ― The Ministry of Health (MoH) is working on a separate set of rules for people who have to travel across Malaysia’s international borders for work on a regular basis when the country shifts into endemic stage from April 1.

Its minister Khairy Jamaluddin said it would be difficult and tedious to make frequent travellers take the Covid-19 test, especially those who make the land crossings several times a week if not daily.

“There will be a separate set of protocols for land travellers which we will announce next week. This is different and needs to be in more detail,” he told a news conference today.

He made a distinction between people entering Malaysia for tourism and those who commute periodically for work.

“For periodic commuters to Singapore, Thailand, Brunei if they need to go in and out of the country everyday or every three to four days it’ll be impractical to ask them to do a PCR test every time.

“I am in discussion not only with the nations who share a border with us but with other countries as well so we can come to an agreement, protect our health care and make it easier for these regular commuters,” Khairy said.

Malaysia plans to transition into the endemic stage from April1, 2022.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob said the government roll back certain limits on the number of people allowed at certain functions and places of worship.

He also said that once Malaysia shifts to the endemic stage, businesses will be allowed to operate according to the original hours stated in their licences. This would include round the clock operations, like 24-hour mamak eateries.

Khairy said that a new website has been set up to answer the frequently asked questions that people are likely to have on the new Covid-19 protocols.

“All health protocols for travellers will be detailed on the website and it will be updated from time to time,” he added.


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