KOTA KINABALU: The Sabah government has allowed individuals under three categories from 23 countries previously barred from entering the country to enter the state.
The exemptions are for qualified diplomats under the exemption order and their dependents; ship crew who are entering the state to conduct sign-on, joint ship or sign-off activities; and professional workers in the oil and gas industry who have passes and authorised entry by the state government.
Sabah Local Government and Housing Minister Datuk Masidi Manjun said this following the state government’s decision on Friday (Nov 20) to revoke their earlier statement on Sept 4 on entry ban for long-term pass holders from India, Indonesia and the Philippines.
He said the state government is adopting the Federal Government’s standardised entry ban for the 23 Covid-19 high-risk nations list.
India, Indonesia and the Philippines are already in the list, which includes the United States, Brazil, Russia, Peru, Colombia, South Africa, Mexico, Spain, Argentina, Chile, Iran, United Kingdom, Bangladesh, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, France, Turkey, Italy, Germany and Iraq.
“For diplomats or staff of embassies who are entering (Sabah) for the first time, they must get approval from the Immigration director-general first.Of course those in these three categories must also prove themselves to be healthy and follow the standard operating procedures (SOPs), ” said Masidi.
Previously, long-term pass holders from the 23 nations not allowed entry included those with permanent residency (PR), Malaysia My Second Home (MM2H) programme passes, all expatriates and their dependents, spousal, students and temporary work visit passes.
The restriction also included citizens from other countries who are living or hold long-term passes in the 23 nations.
Masidi reminded there were guidelines for permission to enter Sabah for non-Malaysians who are already in other parts of Malaysia (the peninsula, Sarawak, Labuan), which have been enforced from Oct 3 until Dec 6.
“All entry to Sabah will be based on updated restriction orders which will be issued by the state government from time to time, ” he added.