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Malaysia to further ease Covid-19 rules from May 1

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People in Malaysia will now be able to enter public premises regardless of their vaccination status. AFP

Malaysia to further ease Covid-19 rules from May 1

Malaysia will remove Covid-19 testing for all inbound travellers who are fully vaccinated or under the age of 12, and make it optional to wear masks outdoors and check in before entering premises, as it further eases pandemic measures from next month.

For Hari Raya Puasa, visiting and open houses will be allowed, with no cap on the number of visitors to a household. There was a limit of 15 people at any one time during last year’s celebrations.

The further easing of measures announced on Wednesday (April 27) follows a decline in hospitalisation rates and demand for intensive care beds, said the Health Ministry.

“This freedom does not mean we have won the war against Covid-19. We must ensure the festivities do not end in disaster. Even if we are asymptomatic, we may be carriers of the Covid-19 virus,” Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin told a news conference which was aired live on social media.

He advised people to self-test for Covid-19 before heading out for Hari Raya festivities to prevent the spread of the virus.

From May 1, masks must continue to be worn indoors, including on public transport, but will be optional when outdoors.

All fully vaccinated travellers, children aged 12 and below regardless of their vaccination status, and travellers with a history of recovery from Covid-19 within six to 60 days of departure, will no longer be required to take a pre-departure polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) test. They will also not be required to take another test within 24 hours of arrival in Malaysia.

Currently, fully vaccinated travellers must take a test 48 hours before departure, and again upon arrival. However, land travellers from Singapore who are fully vaccinated or aged 12 and below are permitted to enter Malaysia without quarantine or testing.

Non-vaccinated travellers are required to take a test – either an RT-PCR test or an antigen rapid test (RTK-Ag) conducted by a medical professional – within two days before departure for Malaysia, take a supervised RTK test within 24 hours of arrival, undergo a five-day quarantine, and take an RT-PCR on day 4 or a professional RTK test on day 5.

Travel insurance will no longer be mandatory for travellers entering the country.

Previously, unvaccinated individuals could not dine out or enter shopping malls, but from May 1, they will be allowed to do so.

Premises will no longer require the public to check in using the MySejahtera app, which is an app similar to Singapore’s TraceTogether, and its use will be optional.

Nightclub activities will also be allowed to resume from May 15, after having been barred since the first movement control order in 2020.

Malaysia recorded 3,361 cases and 13 deaths on Tuesday.

Of the adult population, 68.1 per cent have received their Covid-19 booster shot, while 97.6 per cent have completed two doses.

Khairy said the vaccination rate for children remains low. Just over 21 per cent are fully vaccinated, while over 42 per cent have received at least one dose.

Between October 2021 and April 2022, 245 cases of multi-system inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C) due to Covid-19 were reported. It is a serious complication characterised by inflammation in multiple organs such as the heart, lungs and kidneys.

THE STRAITS TIMES (SINGAPORE)/ASIA NEWS NETWORK

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