With neighbouring countries such as Thailand and Singapore relaxing Covid restrictions, Malaysia is set to follow suit by easing Covid standard operating procedures (SOPs) in the near future.
According to a report by Bernama citing Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin, the government is set to make public its decision to ease or remove several Covid SOPs on April 27.
“I have informed the prime minister of the Health Ministry’s plans,” Khairy said on April 24. “I will make an announcement on Wednesday.”
Thailand and Singapore axe most Covid entry restrictions
In a bid to return life back to normality, Singapore will no longer put a cap on workplace capacities, though some restrictions remain for indoor venues such as restaurants and nightclubs, from April 26. In addition, fully vaccinated travellers entering Singapore will not have to take pre-departure Covid tests.
While the wearing of face masks will still be required in most indoor settings, the practice can also be done away with at workplaces where employees aren’t interacting physically. Currently, Singapore no longer mandates the wearing of face masks outdoors.
For travellers descending on Thailand, things get even easier. Beginning May 1, Thailand will completely abolish the Test & Go programme for fully vaccinated individuals. Inbound passengers will no longer be subject to PCR tests – only an RTK self-test on the fifth day of arrival. Covid coverage for travel insurance will also be reduced from US$20,000 to US$10,000.
The existing Covid SOPs for Malaysia
Unlike Singapore, face masks are mandated in Malaysia at all times. Health experts, however, have disputed the necessity of wearing face masks outdoors and advocated for its usage indoors only.
Patrons are required to check in with MySejahtera to facilitate contact tracing. Following the recent bedlam over the potential sale of the app, thus compromising user privacy, some members of the public have called for an end to check-ins. ““MySejahtera is fully owned by the government,” Khairy reassured on Twitter. “Data secrecy is guaranteed and the MOH will always ensure this aspect is not compromised.”
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