PUTRAJAYA: The quarantine period for inbound travellers will not be relaxed for the time being, as the Health Ministry is still wary over the transmission of new Covid-19 variants, says Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah.
The Health director-general said the ministry receives numerous appeals from people wanting their quarantine stay to be exempted or cut short.
“Be reminded that the length of quarantine is vital to prevent the transmission of Covid-19 from abroad into the country, especially if it contains variants of concern (VOC) or variants of interest (VOI).
“These variants are found to be more infectious and have a higher risk of causing deaths.
“This practice of extended quarantine stay is practised by many other countries.
“The ministry understands the personal reasons faced by people who have appealed to be exempted from quarantine, or to have their length reduced.
“But at the same time, the ministry must remain serious in enforcing its quarantine policy.
“This is to minimise the risk of spreading infections from abroad into the country,” said Dr Noor Hisham in his daily Covid-19 statement on Thursday (June 24).
Since May 24, travellers from India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Nepal and Sri Lanka have been subjected to a mandatory 21-day quarantine at hotels or quarantine centres determined by the government.
Travellers from other countries will have to undergo 14 days of quarantine, which can be extended to 21 days, based on the risk assessment conducted by the ministry.
Besides undergoing quarantine, travellers must also take Covid-19 tests three days before departure, as well as upon arrival.
For those under 14 days quarantine, they will be tested on the 10th day.
Those on 21 days of quarantine are to be tested on their 18th day.