Malaysia: Ban on foreign tourists remain

Kuala Lumpur – Malaysia has further extended the recovery movement control order (RMCO) to December 31, 2020, while the ban on international tourists will remain in place, as Covid-19 cases across the globe continue to surge.

The RMCO, which kicked in on June 10, was slated to end on August 31. Speaking at a televised address on Friday (August 28), prime minister Muhyiddin Yassin said: “Our country is still facing challenges in curbing the spread of Covid-19, which is still actively spreading around the world.

“We cannot risk taking this super-spreading virus lightly in the country. Therefore, stricter quarantine rules at certain locations will continue to be enforced.”

While most economic sectors have been allowed to operate, nightclubs and entertainment centres remain closed as new norms would be difficult to implement in these venues.

Muhyiddin also said that foreign tourists will not be allowed to enter Malaysia for now to prevent imported cases into the country.

In a press conference on Friday, senior minister (security cluster) Ismail Sabri Yaakob echoed this further. He was quoted by The Star as saying: “For now, Malaysia is not ready to open our borders to foreign tourists. Even between Malaysia and Singapore, we only allow people from two categories (to travel), including our citizens who had been stranded in Singapore.

“The other category is for those (from Singapore) who are permitted to enter Malaysia for business-to-business purposes, such as attending meetings in Kuala Lumpur.

“Opening our border to tourists from other countries is the last thing we will look into. Apart from requests from restaurant workers from Thailand and domestic workers from Indonesia (to enter the country), we also received a request from AirAsia (to allow commercial air travel).

“At the moment, Malaysia will not grant approval to any of the requests.” (TTG)