Severity: Critical Alert

Entry/Exit: Malaysia extends nationwide movement controls to at least May 12 due to COVID-19. International travel, most inter-state movement banned.

This alert affects Malaysia

This alert began 23 Apr 2020 15:10 GMT and is scheduled to expire 12 May 2020 23:59 GMT.

  • Incident: Restrictions
  • Location(s): Nationwide (map)
  • Time Frame: Indefinite
  • Impact: Transport and business disruptions, entry bans, quarantine measures

Summary
Authorities in Malaysia have extended the nationwide movement control order to at least May 12 to stem the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19). The measure suspends international travel and most interstate movement within the country. Individuals wishing to travel between states need to obtain travel permits from district police headquarters. The order also bans all public gatherings and closes nonessential businesses and schools. Essential businesses, including convenience stores, grocery shops, petrol stations, restaurants, and supermarkets, can only operate 0800-2000 daily. Authorities have also suspended KLIA Ekspres and KLIA Transit rail services, which connect the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KUL) to downtown Kuala Lumpur. The movement controls were initially imposed March 18 and subsequently extended. Authorities could adjust the scope and duration of the restrictions in the coming days and weeks.

Officials have also implemented enhanced movement control orders at several locations. The measure bars residents from leaving an area or a building and bans entry for non-residents. Affected places have included Jalan Masjid India and Menara City One building in Kuala Lumpur, Johor's Simpang Renggang Town, and parts of Selangor State's Hulu Langat District. Enhanced restrictions may be introduced at additional locations if significant clusters of COVID-19 cases are discovered.

International Travel Restrictions
The movement control order halts inbound and outbound international travel. With few exceptions, foreigners are not able to enter Malaysia; the measure exempts resident diplomats, foreign spouses and dependents of Malaysian citizens, and long-term visa holders working in essential industries who can present a letter from their employer upon entering Malaysia. Authorities have banned Malaysian nationals from traveling abroad while the restrictions are in place; the ban on outbound foreign travel also applies to Malaysian citizens who commute to Singapore for employment. Emergency repatriation of Malaysian citizens stranded abroad has occurred on a case-by-case basis. Officials are continuing to quarantine any inbound passengers at government facilities for 14 days. Malaysian citizens working in Singapore will be exempt from the requirement, provided that they pass medical screening before entry.

Advice
Follow all official health and safety measures. Ensure contingency plans account for additional disruptive measures or further extensions of current restrictions. Postpone travel if affected by travel restrictions. Confirm flight status before checking out of accommodation and departing for the airport. Follow all official instructions, particularly if traveling from affected locations. Allow additional time for immigration and health screenings at all ports of entry. Consider delaying travel if experiencing symptoms associated with COVID-19, as they may prompt increased scrutiny and delays.

Emphasize basic health precautions, especially frequent handwashing with soap and water, or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are unavailable. Practice good coughing/sneezing etiquette (i.e., covering coughs and sneezes with a disposable tissue, maintaining distance from others, and washing hands). There is no evidence that the influenza vaccine, antibiotics, or antiviral medications will prevent this disease, highlighting the importance of diligent basic health precautions.

Resources
World Health Organisation (WHO): www.who.int

Prime Minister's Office: www.pmo.gov.my