PUTRAJAYA: There is no announcement on travel restrictions for those from countries where the new variant of the Covid-19 virus is detected because the government already stops foreigners from entering Malaysia since the start of the pandemic, explains Senior Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob.
The Defence Minister said the country’s borders remained closed to tourists and only diplomats and expatriates were allowed to enter the country.
“Even then, this permission is not granted to every diplomat or expatriate. Those from 23 countries which we announced earlier are not allowed in.
“Therefore we did not make any announcement because foreigners are not allowed to enter Malaysia in the first place, ” said the Senior Minister on Monday (Dec 28).
Ismail Sabri was asked if the country was planning to impose travel restrictions on those from countries where the new variant of coronavirus has been detected such as the United Kingdom and South Africa.
In September, the government announced that citizens from 23 countries who are long-term pass holders are barred from entering Malaysia.
They include the United States, the United Kingdom, Brazil, India, Russia, Peru, Colombia, South Africa, Spain, Mexico, Argentina, Chile, Iran and Bangladesh.
He also explained that the government cannot prevent Malaysians from the affected countries from returning, as their rights to be on the Malaysian soil is guaranteed by the Federal Constitution.
“We allow them to return but with strict conditions including observing quarantine at government designated stations, ” he said.