Covid-19: Malaysia to move into endemic phase on April 1, borders reopen announced PM Ismail Sabri

08 Mar 2022 05:55pm
PM Ismail Sabri announces Malaysia to enter the endemic stage on April 1. - Bernama Photo.
PM Ismail Sabri announces Malaysia to enter the endemic stage on April 1. - Bernama Photo.

KUALA LUMPUR - Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob today announced that Malaysia will enter the ‘Transition to Endemic’ phase and will reopen its borders starting April 1.

He said the decision was made after taking into account several factors, conducting the necessary risk assessment, seeking advice from the Ministry of Health, and scrutinising the recommendations from the Quartet Ministers.

"The ‘Transition to Endemic’ phase is an exit strategy to enable all of us to return to almost normal life after two years of struggling with Covid-19,” he told a special press conference at Parliament building today.

He said the transition phase is just temporary before the country could fully enter the endemic phase, subject to the announcement by the World Health Organisation (WHO).

Malaysia has closed its international borders to foreign travellers since the implementation of the Movement Control Order on March 18, 2020, to curb the spread of Covid-19 in the country.

The wearing of a face mask in public places is still compulsory for all individuals.

No more operating hour limits for business premises.

"Owners of business premises can operate throughout the operating hours stated in their licence.

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"This means that you (the public) can dine in at restaurants even after midnight, especially to have your sahur (pre-dawn meal) during the upcoming Ramadan,” he said.

For countries that still have their borders closed, Ismail Sabri said Malaysians can benefit via the Vaccinated Travel Lane (VTL) as agreed by the Government of Malaysia with the countries involved.

"For the time being, VTL has been implemented with Singapore since last year. As I have announced earlier, VTL would be implemented soon between Malaysia-Thailand, Malaysia-Brunei and Malaysia-Indonesia.

"It is hoped the people would soon benefit from the opening of the country’s borders which be carried out according to the stipulated guidelines for self-safety, the surrounding people and the country as a whole,” he said.

On March 18, 2020, Malaysia enforced restrictions on all travelling abroad by the people and the entry of tourists into the country to curb the spread of COVID-19 in the country.

On Oct 7, 2020, the government introduced the MyTravelPass of the Immigration Department which is the application to allow movements in and out of the country by Malaysians and foreigners.

On Oct 11, 2021, the government allowed inter-state travel and travelling abroad without the need for an application. - BERNAMA