Ismail Sabri: Long-distance couples not exempt from interstate travel ban

KUALA LUMPUR: Couples who live apart over long distances are not exempted from the interstate travel ban, says Senior Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob (pic).

The Defence Minister said such couples should be patient as the MCO will be conducted for two weeks.

"I hope they can be patient as it will only be for two weeks.

"If the situation improves enough after two weeks, we will see then," he told reporters Tuesday (Jan 12).

Asked whether politicians and VIPs are included in the ban on holding meetings or gatherings, Ismail Sabri said the standard operating procedures (SOPs) applies to everyone.

"If anyone must have a meeting, do it online.

"In fact, the special meeting of the National Security Council (NSC), chaired by the Prime Minister, is also conducted virtually," he added.

Asked whether the ban includes press conferences such as his own daily briefings, Ismail Sabri said so far, the physical distancing and other SOPs applied are sufficient.

"However, if NSC proposes other means for such press conferences, such as via online, we will do it," he said.

Meanwhile, Ismail Sabri said roadblocks that will be conducted nationwide by 12.01am on Wednesday will be similar to the ones conducted during the first MCO.

"Like last time, the Malaysian Armed Forces will assist the police.

"It is different for Ops Benteng, where the military is the leading agency and assisted by the police," he added.

He also clarified that only two people from a household are allowed to be in a car to buy essential items in MCO areas.

"However, emergency cases are an exception where up to three people are allowed in a car.

"For going for exercise such as jogging or cycling, only two people from a household are allowed," he said.

As for parents who send their children to kindergarten, Ismail Sabri the police will use their discretion on the number of people in a vehicle, if the parents are sending more than one child to kindergarten.

On whether media personnel are considered as workers from essential services, Ismail Sabri answered in the affirmative.

"Similar to workers from other essential services, the personnel only need to show their work tag and letter from their respective companies," he added.

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