KUALA LUMPUR (Oct 10): Interstate travel will be allowed for all fully vaccinated Malaysians between any states from Monday (Oct 11), said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob in a special televised address.
This also means international travel and domestic tourism are fully open, and Malaysians no longer have to apply for MyTravelPass approval to travel overseas, said Ismail Sabri.
International travel was previously only permitted for Malaysians due to business matters or for educational purposes, as well as for official government matters.
The prime minister's announcement came as 90% of Malaysia's adult population has now been fully vaccinated, up from 89.7% on Saturday (Oct 9).
Other than those fully vaccinated, children and adolescents not yet vaccinated are also allowed to travel, said Ismail Sabri, but parents must be careful and observe Covid-19 standard operating procedures (SOPs).
The relaxation, however, does not apply for areas that are under the Enhanced Movement Control Order or EMCO.
"With this decision, Keluarga Malaysia is free to move about such as to go back to hometown to meet with parents after being apart for a long time, for tourism, and others," said Ismail Sabri.
The government, however, has not opened up the country to international travellers, Ismail Sabri said, "except for emergency, business and official government purposes".
The prime minister also reiterated that all Malaysians must continue to follow the Covid-19 SOPs.
"For example, those who want to return to their hometown or to travel interstate, Keluarga Malaysia is encouraged to undertake their own Covid-19 tests. For those with symptoms, my advice is for you to postpone your travels," he said.
Under the Prevention and Control of Infectious Disease Act 1988, the police can still continue to conduct random checks to ensure Malaysians adhere to the full vaccination rules when enjoying relaxation of restrictions such as interstate travels or in retail outlets, he said.
Those entering the country from overseas are also required to take Covid-19 screening test three days before arrival, as well as once more upon arrival, before going for quarantine.
No more blanket MCO
Ismail Sabri, meanwhile, gave assurance that the authorities will not resort to blanket Movement Control Order (MCO) when cases jump again.
"For example, if a hotel in Langkawi experiences an outbreak, we will not shut down the island, but will instead close the hotel affected.
"All of us can ensure that there will be no more closure, if all of us adhere to the SOPs," he said.
He further urged those who have not gone for vaccination to get their jabs in order to enjoy the relaxation measures announced.
On the transition towards the endemic phase for Covid-19, Ismail Sabri said the government is still considering the situation.
Presently, five states are under Phase Two of the National Recovery Plan (NRP) — namely Kedah, Penang, Kelantan, Perak and Sabah — while six states and two federal territories have progressed to Phase Three. The eight are Perlis, Melaka, Terengganu, Johor, Selangor, Putrajaya, Kuala Lumpur and Sarawak.
Only two states and one federal territory have reached Phase Four, namely Negeri Sembilan, Pahang and Labuan. There are no longer any states or federal territories under Phase One of the NRP.