Inter-district travel still not allowed in Sarawak, says Deputy CM

KUCHING: Movement across zones and districts in Sarawak is still not allowed while the state remains under the conditional movement control order until mid-March, says Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah (pic).

The Deputy Chief Minister said this was based on the state's standard operating procedures which are in force until March 15.

"Inter-zone travel in Sarawak still requires permission from the police. We want to clarify that the restriction on inter-district movement according to the zones we have displayed earlier when we declared the conditional MCO for Sarawak is still in place," he said at the state disaster management committee's briefing here on Wednesday (March 3).

Under the conditional MCO, Kuching, Samarahan and Serian districts are grouped in the Kuching zone while the Sibu zone comprises Sibu and Sarikei districts. Other districts in the state have not been grouped into zones.

Senior Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob had announced on Tuesday (March 2) that inter-district travel was now allowed except in Sabah from March 5 to 18, while interstate travel is still banned.

Uggah also said the state government had decided to allow foreign workers to enter Sarawak from March 1 following requests from industries, subject to strict standard operating procedures.

He said the state localisation committee had approved 27,000 applications for foreign workers from the agriculture, plantation, construction, manufacturing, and services (transport, restaurants, quarries and mining) sectors.

"The workers must be screened in their home countries three days before departing to Sarawak.

"Upon arrival, the employer is responsible to pick them up from the point of entry and bring them to a place of quarantine, which can be at the plantation, factory or construction site and is approved by the Health Department," Uggah said.

He said employers who do not have a place of quarantine can place the workers at a hotel for 14 days.

They must also be tested on the second and 10th days, with all costs to be borne by the employer.

As a large number of workers would be coming in, Uggah said the Health Department was now working out a schedule of entry to ensure that the state's testing capacity was sufficient.

"We don't want to create a backlog or bottleneck. We want to make sure the process will be seamless and we need everyone's cooperation," he added.

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