M'sians in Thailand rush home to beat movement control order deadline


  • Nation
  • Tuesday, 17 Mar 2020

TOPSHOT - A man operates a fumigator, amid concerns over the spread of Covid-19, at Wat Suthat Thepwararam temple in Bangkok on March 17, 2020. (Photo by Lillian SUWANRUMPHA / AFP)

BANGKOK (Bernama): Many Malaysians working or on holidays in Thailand scrambled to book the next flight to Malaysia after a two-week nationwide movement control order from March 18 was announced in the country due to the Covid-19 outbreak.

Many Malaysians rushed to airports early morning to make sure they got back home by Tuesday (March 17) to avoid being slapped with the 14-day self-quarantine under the order.

An employee based in Pattaya, Low Ban Ching travelled about 150km to Bangkok on Tuesday just to catch the next flight back to Malaysia.

"I read messages from friends and family members back home about the movement control order.

"I realised I need to be back in Malaysia by today, if not, I have to undergo health checks and self-quarantine for 14 days.

"Luckily, I managed to book a ticket from Bangkok to Kuala Lumpur,” he said when met at the Suvarnabhumi Airport.

Meanwhile, a project-based employee who only wanted to be known as Kah Yee said she decided to fly home as the movement control order created uncertainty for travellers.

"I’m not sure whether there will be another extension after March 31. I made a quick decision to fly home today to beat the deadline,” she said.

On Monday (March 16), Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin had declared that Malaysia would be placed under nationwide movement control order from March 18 to March 31 March due to the outbreak.

Muhyiddin said it also involves a comprehensive restriction on all Malaysians travelling abroad with those returning from overseas required to undergo a health check and to self-quarantine for 14 days.

The restriction also covers the entry of all foreign tourists and visitors into the country and also bars Malaysians from leaving the country.

A businessman, who goes by the name of Thomas, 56, said he decided to bring forward his return ticket to get home before the deadline.

"I want to be home before the order goes into effect... I prefer to go back to Malaysia,” he said.

For Australian couple, Rosemary and David, who will transit in Kuala Lumpur before flying to Sydney said they decided to fly before March 18.

"We read about Malaysia’s movement control order. We are not sure whether it will affect our flight.

"We do not want to take any risks so we are flying home early,” he said.- Bernama

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