PUTRAJAYA: A new standard operating procedure (SOP) will be enforced on ship crewmembers, where they will have to undergo a 14-day quarantine before they can begin work or leave Malaysia.
Senior Minister (Security) Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob said the government decided to tighten the SOP after health authorities reported a spike in Covid-19 cases among ship crewmembers.
He said those who are signing on for duty to board their ship will have to undergo Covid-19 screening at the country’s international entry points.
Those found to be positive will be sent to hospital while those whose tests are negative will be quarantined at the government centres and will be screened again on the 13th day of quarantine.
“If the tests results are negative, then they will be allowed to 'sign in' at our ports. For the 'sign off' process, the crew members will be tested for Covid-19 once they arrive at the ports.
Ismail Sabri said crewmembers will only be allowed to go to the airport to return to their respective countries after testing negative the second time.
“The cost for the 14-day quarantine as well as the screening test will be borne fully by their employers, ” he said.
Ismail Sabri added that the government was imposing this as there had been cases where some crewmembers did not comply with the SOP and had gone to town instead of going straight to the airport after signing off.
“This caused new cases of Covid-19 infection, ” he said.