Covid-19: Border reopening possible by early second quarter this year, says KJ

  • Nation
  • Saturday, 19 Feb 2022

PETALING JAYA: A realistic target for borders to reopen is early in the second quarter of this year, says Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin.

“The Health Ministry will come up with the standard operating procedure (SOP) for border reopening, and there are several stages to go through for it to be approved.

“I will present the SOP to the Covid-19 pandemic management committee, which is chaired by the Prime Minister and to the quartet of ministers led by Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein.

“Finally, I will present it to the Cabinet for the approval as it involves a huge national policy, as the decision to open up the country’s borders is not under the Health Ministry,” he said after visiting a private clinic offering B40 Healthcare Scheme (PeKa B40) here on Saturday (Feb 19).

He added that the Prime Minister would make the official announcement on when the country’s borders would fully reopen.

“It could be in the early second quarter of this year but only the Prime Minister can make such an announcement,” he said.

It was previously reported that the National Recovery Council (NRC) had recommended for the country’s borders to reopen for quarantine-free travel by March 1.

NRC chairman Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said the reopening of the border was important to revive the country’s economy, especially the business and tourism sectors, and hoped that Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob would agree to their proposal to reopen the country’s borders by March 1.

On Friday (Feb 18), Ismail Sabri said that the Health Ministry had been given two to three weeks to present proposals and standard operating procedures (SOP) to the Cabinet for the reopening of the country’s borders.

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