Vaccinated travellers arriving in Malaysia can apply for COVID-19 home quarantine via new portal
SINGAPORE: Fully vaccinated travellers entering Malaysia will be able to apply for home quarantine from Tuesday (Sep 21) via a new portal on the Ministry of Health's website.
This "simplified" home quarantine application process will go live at 8am, said Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin.
He made the announcement during a visit to Kuala Lumpur International Airport on Monday to "improve process flows for inbound travellers" as part of the Malaysia's "Reopening Safely" strategy.
“The current Jurassic process of using an email address has caused a backlog of 6,000 applications," Mr Khairy said on Twitter, adding that the new process will allow people to receive an answer within three days of submitting a complete application.
“This will allow more Malaysians and returning expatriates to quarantine in their own homes without having to spend money for hotel quarantine."
"Applications must be made seven to 10 days prior to date of entry into Malaysia," the health ministry said in posts on social media, adding that the applications will be processed within seven working days.
All applications for arrivals from Sep 28 onwards should be made via this portal, the ministry said.
In addition to being fully vaccinated, travellers entering Malaysia must present a negative COVID-19 polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test result.
Their home or residence must also be suitable "based on risk evaluation", said the ministry.
According to Bernama, Mr Khairy said the conditions for undergoing compulsory home quarantine would be stated on the portal.
Among the requirements is that the home or residence has enough rooms and toilets to ensure there is no mingling with other family members.
The health ministry also has a "specific method" to ensure those undergoing home quarantine comply with the home surveillance order, including the wearing of a digital detector surveillance wristband, said Bernama.
“It’s a pilot project going on where we issue a bracelet where they have to wear during the duration of the quarantine. Once this project has been piloted through the number of people we are targeting, we will see whether it is feasible or not,” Mr Khairy said.
Fully vaccinated Malaysians and permanent residents returning from overseas were previously able to apply via email to serve their quarantine at home from Aug 10.
Citizens and non-citizens with homes in Malaysia were also allowed to undergo home quarantine under digital home surveillance order, former prime minister Muhyiddin Yassin announced in a televised address on Aug 8.
However, home quarantine was not automatically granted to everyone arriving at the entry points.
Travellers entering Malaysia via Johor were required to submit an application to undergo mandatory quarantine at their home at least seven days prior to their arrival, but the process was not that straightforward, according those previously interviewed by CNA.
Many had to wait for a long time for a reply, and some of their applications were rejected without very clear explanation, they told CNA.
On Monday, Malaysia reported 14,345 new COVID-19 cases. The number of new cases has been on a downtrend since Sep 16 when the country reported 18,815 infections.