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High-risk citizens to be barred

PUTRAJAYA: The government will impose an entry ban on citizens of countries recording more than 150,000 cases of Covid-19 starting next Monday, says Senior Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob.

He said among the countries in the list were the United States, Brazil, France, the United Kingdom, Spain, Italy, Saudi Arabia, Russia and Bangladesh, as well as three countries announced previously, namely India, Indonesia and the Philippines.

“We will add more countries deemed high-risk, which have more than 150,000 positive cases, to the list. Their citizens will be barred.

“However, for emergency cases or involving bilateral relations, such as if a person needs to come for a meeting between countries, we will allow entry. But it requires permission from the Immigration Department, ” he told reporters after chairing the Special Committee Meeting on the Embracing New Norms Campaign here yesterday.

The Health Ministry will announce the details on countries which have recorded more than 150,000 Covid-19 cases later.

Last Tuesday, Ismail Sabri announced an entry ban on long-term pass holders from India, Indonesia and the Philippines beginning Sept 7 due to a spike in Covid-19 cases in those countries.

The ban involves six categories of pass holders, namely those with permanent resident status (PR), Malaysia My Second Home Programme (MM2H) participants, expatriates including professional visit pass (PVP) holders and resident pass holders.

Also barred are spouses of Malaysian citizens and their children as well as students from the three countries who want to return to Malaysia.

Meanwhile, Ismail Sabri said the government had no problems allowing Malaysians from high-risk countries to return home but they were subjected to the 14-day mandatory quarantine.

On the Embracing New Norms Campaign, he said it would be carried out until Dec 31 to ensure the people continue to adhere to standard operating procedure in order to combat the Covid-19 pandemic.

He said the Health Ministry would announce the details later.

Meanwhile, in a statement issued yesterday, Ismail Sabri said more than 100 people were arrested at pubs and nightclubs for violating the recovery movement control order (MCO).

He said the 109 individuals arrested for “activities at pubs or nightclubs” were among 198 people caught on Wednesday.

“On Sept 2, the police arrested 198 individuals for violating the MCO. From that total, 184 individuals were issued compounds while nine others have been held under remand. Another five have been bailed.

“The offences included activities at pubs or nightclubs, activities with large crowds and a lack of physical distancing (41), failure to provide check-in facilities for customers (25), not wearing face masks (17), prostitution (two) and failure to adhere to quarantine orders (one), ” he said.

A total of 51,809 checks were made on Wednesday night by 12,567 officers of the task force.

The premises that were monitored included supermarkets, restaurants, hawker stalls, factories, banks, government offices as well as air, land and sea terminals.

Ismail Sabri also said that the police had put up 63 roadblocks nationwide on Wednesday under “Ops Benteng”, which was meant to stop illegal immigrants from entering the country and prevent cross-border crime.–The Star

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