Malaysia bans foreigners with recent visit to parts of Iran, Italy, and Japan, as of March 6, due to COVID-19. Other measures apply.

Severity: Warning Alert

This alert began 06 Mar 2020 06:29 GMT and is scheduled to expire 23 Mar 2020 23:59 GMT.

  • Incident: Enhanced health screenings, travel restrictions
  • Location(s): Nationwide (map)
  • Time Frame: Indefinite
  • Impact: Flight disruptions, longer immigration wait times; possible quarantine measures

Officials have announced that foreign citizens who have been to parts of Iran, Italy, and Japan in the past 14 days will not be able to enter Malaysia, as of March 6. The measure is part of the government's attempt to prevent the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19). The affected regions are Gilan, Qom, and Tehran in Iran; Emilia-Romagna, Lombardy, and Veneto in Italy; as well as Hokkaido in Japan. Authorities have also barred foreigners who have been in South Korea's Cheongdo County and Daegu in the previous two weeks from entering Malaysia. The measures for Iran, Italy, Japan, and South Korea exempt Malaysian permanent residents (PRs), as well as holders of Malaysian social pass and student pass. Officials also banned foreigners with recent visits to China's Hubei, Jiangsu, and Zhejiang provinces. Officials also indicated that visitors arriving from Iran, Italy, Japan, and South Korea would undergo enhanced screenings.

Local authorities of Sabah and Sarawak states in east Malaysia have also implemented the following measures:

  • Sabah State: Local officials have banned foreigners and Malaysians who are non-Sabah residents with travel history to mainland China and South Korea in the past two weeks from entering the state. Sabah residents who have recently visited the two locations will also need to undergo a two-week self-quarantine upon return.
  • Sarawak State: Local officials have barred foreigners with recent travel to mainland China, Hong Kong, Iran, Italy, Macau, South Korea, and Taiwan in the last 14 days from entering the state. Officials are also advising Malaysians from outside Sarawak against traveling to the state if they have traveled to the aforementioned locations in the previous two weeks. Sarawak residents who have recently visited these locations will need to self-quarantine for 14 days upon return.

Authorities could expand their response in the coming weeks, particularly if COVID-19 activity increases in-country. The measures are unlikely to impact most travelers but may lead to immigration delays.

Follow all official immigration and health screening instructions, particularly if traveling from mainland China, Iran, Italy, Japan, South Korea, as well as other countries with significant numbers of COVID-19 cases. Allow additional time for immigration and health screenings at all ports of entry. Consider delaying traveling if experiencing symptoms associated with COVID-19, as they may prompt increased scrutiny and delays.

Exercise basic health precautions, especially frequent handwashing with soap and water, or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are unavailable. 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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