Effective this Friday, 24 July 2020, all travellers and returnees to Malaysia will have to undergo a mandatory 14-day quarantine at hotels or quarantine centres. 

This follows a rise in positive COVID-19 cases globally, and with many on home quarantine failing to comply with the standard operating procedures (SOP) put in place, Senior Minister (Security Cluster) Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob said at a press conference and on Facebook yesterday (21 July).

Commenting on this, according to a report by Bernama, Senior Minister Ismail Sabri said: "The government views seriously incidents of non-compliance with home quarantine SOP which have caused COVID-19 infection(s) among family members and the local community.

"It is very irresponsible of them to behave that way and the authorities will take firm action including imposing an RM1,000 fine or charging them in court where they can be jailed up to six months."

Thus, the decision was made at the Special Meeting of Ministers yesterday, in efforts to reduce the risk of transmission. Senior Minister Ismail Sabri also said returnees will have to bear the full cost of the quarantine either at the Public Training Institute, or at selected hotels, Bernama also reported. 

In line with the decision, locals returning to the country will no longer be required to take a COVID-19 swab test in the country of origin, while foreigners are still required to do so. 

In a Facebook Post, Health Director-General Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah welcomed the decision, also citing the recent increase in cases, as well as new clusters formed. Up till yesterday (21 July), he said the total number of active clusters in Malaysia stood at 19, with 13 new clusters announced in the past 10 days. 

Of these 13, three were related to local infections which had arisen from a few clusters linked to imported cases. 

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On the same note, at yesterday's meeting, it was agreed 'in-principle' that tourists from green zone countries including Singapore, South Korea, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, and Brunei will be allowed to enter the country on commercial flights, to seek medical treatments. 

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