Travellers embarking from 11 countries will be required to observe mandatory quarantine prior to entering Sabah.
Effective 28 December 2021, travellers originating from the United Kingdom, Saudi Arabia, Australia, Norway, France, Canada, Denmark, Nigeria, United States, India and Pakistan are required to undergo quarantine prior to entering Sabah, according to a Bernama report, citing the state’s Local Government and Housing Minister Datuk Masidi Manjun.
What to know about Sabah subjecting travellers from 11 countries to quarantine?
“Travellers are required to undergo mandatory quarantine through the first port of arrival at designated quarantine centres before being allowed to enter or continue their journey to Sabah,” he quotes in a statement.
As of writing, all international passengers transiting at KLIA with an onward connection to Sabah have to undergo 7-day mandatory quarantine before they are allowed to enter Sabah.
Those with connecting flight within 24 hours to Sabah, not exiting KLIA transit terminal building and have obtained the approval of “Home Quarantine”, are allowed to continue their journey. They are given surveillance bracelets upon arrival at the destination’s airport and undergo mandatory quarantine of 7 days. Unvaccinated or partially vaccinated passengers must observe a 10-day quarantine.
The precautionary step was partially reimposed after Sabah relaxed the quarantine measures following the resumption of domestic travel. Prior to 1 November 2021, all travellers into Sabah were subject to quarantine. Except the quarantine-exempt Malaysia-Singapore VTL programme, Malaysia requires compulsory self-isolation for all travellers coming and returning from abroad.
Due to the escalating concerns of Omicron infiltrating the country, ticket sales for the VTL programme between 23 December 2021 and 20 January 2022 have been put on ice. As of 25 December 2021, Malaysia has reported 62 Omicron cases, with the bulk imported. According to Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin, 49 Omicron cases were confirmed on December 23 and 24.
30 were from Saudi Arabia, followed by 5 from the United Kingdom, 4 from Qatar, 3 from the United States, 2 from Nigeria and 1 each from Italy, Turkey and the United Arab Emirates.
Authorities believe the new variant is already in community circulation.
Sabah is one of the worst hit states in Malaysia. As of 26 December 2021, Sabah has recorded a cumulative 239,590 Covid-19 positive cases.