PUTRAJAYA: The Health Ministry is in the final stages of finalising the standard operating procedures (SOPs) for Malaysia’s border reopening, says Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin (pic).
The National Recovery Council (NRC) chairman said the government will be making the announcement soon once it has been approved by the Cabinet.
He said that the delay in reopening the country will leave a huge impact on the country, especially in terms of the economy.
“If we are late to open the country for a day, we will have to bear great costs.
“The faster we can reopen, the better,” he said in a press conference after chairing the third NRC meeting on Tuesday (Feb 22).
Muhyiddin said that despite the current surge of Covid-19 cases mainly due to the Omicron variant, the healthcare system is still capable of handling the situation.
“If the Health Ministry can handle it, there should be no problem (to reopen the border),” he said.
He also said that the country's tourism sector relies heavily on foreign visitors, which contributed RM80bil in revenue before the pandemic, hence, reopening the border promptly is important.
It was previously reported that the NRC had recommended for the country’s borders to reopen for quarantine-free travel by March 1.
Muhyiddin 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 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.