KUALA LUMPUR: The Immigration Department, Health Ministry as well as the Tourism, Arts and Culture Ministry will study the National Recovery Council’s recommendation to fully reopen Malaysia’s borders on March 1.
Senior Minister (Defence) Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein said the quartet of ministers had instructed that these parties conduct preparations to see if the borders could be reopened by next month.
“I understand that National Recovery Council (NRC) chairman Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin had made an announcement Tuesday (Feb 8) morning on this matter and at the quartet level, we have already instructed the Immigration Department, Health Ministry and Tourism, Arts and Culture Ministry to study the matter.
“Once they have discussed the matter at length, they will bring it back to the quartet,” he told reporters at Wisma Pertahanan on Tuesday.
“We want people to come into our country but other countries have not made the same decision (to reopen their borders).
“It is a big decision which can only be discussed at Cabinet level or the Covid-19 pandemic management special committee level,” he said.
NRC chairman Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin was reported as saying that Malaysia’s borders were set to fully reopen on March 1.
“It was recommended by the NRC that the country’s borders be fully opened in due time to support the nation’s recovery.
“In connection with this, the council agrees that the nation’s borders are to fully open as early as March 1 without the need for mandatory quarantine,” he said in a statement after chairing the NRC meeting on Tuesday.
However, Muhyiddin noted that those entering the country would have to undergo Covid-19 tests before and right after arriving in the country as recommended by the Health Ministry.
The borders had been partially closed since early 2020 following the Covid-19 outbreak to check the spread of the virus.
Muhyiddin added the border opening matter was raised by Immigration director-general Datuk Seri Khairul Dzaimee Daud during the meeting.
The quartet of ministries involves the Finance, Health, Defence and Education Ministries.