Coronavirus: Sabah govt announces additional temporary travel restrictions

KOTA KINABALU: The Sabah government has announced additional temporary travel restrictions due to the novel coronavirus outbreak.

State secretary Datuk Safar Untong said although Sabah is free of any coronavirus cases, the state government has decided to expand the travel restrictions at all points of entry (by air, sea or land) with effect from Saturday (Feb 8).

"The additional prohibitions are that all foreigners with recent travel history to mainland China within the last 14 days will not be allowed to enter Sabah.

"Malaysian citizens who are non-residents of Sabah, with recent travel history to mainland China within the last 14 days, will also not be allowed to enter Sabah.

"Any Sabahan, permanent resident of Sabah and resident of Sabah under a work pass, student pass, long-term social visit pass or any exemption order returning from mainland China are subject to a compulsory 14-day home quarantine," he said in a statement here on Friday (Feb 7).

Previously, the Sabah government temporarily stopped all direct commercial flights into Sabah.

However, China nationalswere still able to enter the state via flights from Kuala Lumpur.

Safar added that all transit passengers originating or through mainland China will also not be allowed entry to Sabah.

China nationals who are still in Sabah are advised to depart or return before expiry of their visa, and the maximum visa extension granted remained at seven days, he added.

Some Chinese nationals still in Sabah had previously asked for longer visa extensions as they fear of going back to the crisis stricken republic at the moment.

However, Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal has already said they will maintain the seven-day visa extension as Sabah does not have sufficient resources to cope in case of an outbreak in the state.

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