Officials ban foreigners with recent visits to parts of mainland China, South Korea from entering Malaysia, as of March 5, due to COVID-19.

Severity: Warning Alert

This alert began 05 Mar 2020 09:50 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 enforced several measures to prevent the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in early 2020. Authorities have barred foreigners who have been in Daegu and Cheongdo County in South Korea's North Gyeongsang Province in the previous 14 days from entering Malaysia. Authorities have earlier also stopped granting visas for foreigners who have traveled to China's Hubei, Jiangsu, and Zhejiang provinces in the last 14 days. Officials also indicated that visitors arriving from Iran, Italy, Japan, and South Korea will 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 and 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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