KUALA LUMPUR: The government has extended its travel ban on visitors from two more Chinese provinces – Zhejiang and Jiangsu – with immediate effect.
Zhejiang’s capital is Hangzhou, a popular tourist destination for Malaysians, which is less than an hour by bullet train from Shanghai.
As for Jiangsu, its major cities include Suzhou and its capital Nanjing.
The ban came following Malaysia’s announcement on Jan 27 that visa issuance to Chinese nationals from Wuhan and areas around Hubei province would be suspended.
Hangzhou is about 760km from Wuhan while Nanjing is 540km from the epicentre of the coronavirus outbreak.
Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, who announced the latest travel ban yesterday, said Wisma Putra had informed the Chinese authorities about the move.
“In line with the decision made on Jan 27, a travel ban will be enforced based on the ‘lockdown’ imposed by the Chinese government.
“Travel restriction imposed on Chinese visitors from Hubei province, including Wuhan (the capital of Hubei), is now expanded to Zhejiang and Jiangsu provinces effective immediately, ” she told reporters yesterday.
The Deputy Prime Minister said the Immigration Department had been ordered to impose stricter restrictions on all travellers, regardless of their nationalities, who had visited Hubei, Zhejiang and Jiangsu provinces, by disallowing them from entering Malaysia within a period of 14 days.
“The Health Ministry, the Immigration Department and other agencies at the Sultan Iskandar Complex in Johor Baru have also been told to increase monitoring efforts and give the necessary advice to travellers from those places.
“Since the situation is still under control, it is not necessary to impose a travel ban on China except those from the three provinces, ” she said after attending a Chinese New Year programme organised by the Malaysian Islamic Development Department and Malaysian Chinese Muslim Association.