Critical Alert

Authorities impose stricter entry, travel curbs in Sarawak State, Malaysia, Oct. 4-18, due to coronavirus disease. Other measures continue. 

Alert Begins 02 Oct 2020 07:27 AM UTC
Alert Expires 18 Oct 2020 11:59 PM UTC


  • Incident: Travel restrictions
  • Location(s): Sarawak State
  • Time Frame: Oct. 4-18
  • Impact: Entry restrictions, possible transport and commercial disruptions


State authorities in Sarawak are imposing strict travel restrictions Oct. 4-18 due to high coronavirus disease (COVID-19) activity in neighboring states and peninsular Malaysia. Authorities have banned entry from Sabah State and Labuan territory, except for Sarawak residents with prior permission to return. All other arrivals from international and domestic destinations must apply online for entry permission, as well as submit an electronic health declaration form within 12 hours before entry. All entrants - including returning Sarawak residents from Sabah and Labuan - must also undergo a 14-day quarantine with COVID-19 swab testing on the second and tenth days; nonresidents of Sarawak must pay for quarantine and tests. Authorities will exempt approved regular travelers, such as workers in essential and strategic economic sectors, from quarantine, while enforcing testing every 14 days. Officials may expand or extend the measures if COVID-19 activity increases locally, or remains high in neighboring regions.

Nationwide movement restrictions known as recovery movement control orders (RMCO) remain in effect through Dec. 31. Business operations, religious services, non-contact sports events, and public transport services have resumed with social distancing controls. The use of facemasks also remains compulsory in crowded public places, such as markets; officials are urging residents to wear facemasks in public to the extent possible. Authorities continue to discourage mass gatherings. Violations are punishable by fines of up to MYR 1,000 (USD 240).


Strictly heed the instructions of authorities. Confirm appointments and travel plans beforehand. 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.


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