Domestic travel bubbles approved in Malaysia as movement curbs lifted in four states

Domestic travel bubbles approved in Malaysia as movement curbs lifted in four states

Ismail Sabri Yaakob
Malaysian Senior Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob. (File photo: Bernama)

KUALA LUMPUR: The Malaysian government has approved a domestic travel bubble programme involving green zones, said Senior Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob as he announced that the conditional movement control order (CMCO) is set to be lifted in four states. 

In his press conference on Friday (Nov 20), the minister said the National Security Council (NSC) has decided to end the CMCO in Johor, Kedah, Melaka and Terengganu, with the exception of a few districts. 

This followed a downward trend in new COVID-19 cases recorded and risk assessments by the Ministry of Health, he said.

"Since Nov 5, a total of 82 positive cases have been recorded in the entire state of Johor. But until Nov 16, there is a lowering of active cases, and Johor is found to be under control in terms of the spread of COVID-19 cases.

"Except for Kota Tinggi and Mersing districts, which have 36 and eight active cases respectively," Mr Ismail Sabri explained.

READ: COVID-19 - Schools in Malaysia to close from Nov 9

Malaysia had earlier eased into the RMCO phase on Jun 10, with most economic activities allowed to resume. 

CMCO was reinstated in all but four states in mid-October after a dramatic surge in COVID-19 cases. The four states were Kelantan, Perlis, Pahang and Sarawak. 

Under this second CMCO, inter-state and inter-district travel within states are restricted in order to reduce the general public’s movement. Social activities are also discouraged.

However, Mr Ismail Sabri announced on Friday that Kelantan would be placed under CMCO from Saturday onwards following a surge of cases. 

"The entire Kelantan will be placed under CMCO for two weeks from Nov 21 till Dec 6," he said. 

Mr Ismail Sabri, who is Defence Minister, also announced that the government has approved the "green travel bubble programme" to revive domestic tourism. 

Under the programme, people from green zones can travel to other zones marked green beginning Sunday. 

READ: Malaysia's Top Glove workers put under tighter COVID-19 restrictions 

No police permit is required for inter-district travel within green states and inter-state travel from one green state to a neighbouring green state. 

However, those who have to pass through states under CMCO to get to another green zone would need a police permit, the minister said. 

A green zone is an area with no new COVID-19 cases in the span of two weeks. 

The CMCO is set to be in effect until Dec 6, while the RMCO was earlier extended until Dec 31. 

On Wednesday, Malaysian King Al-Sutan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah agreed to declare a state of emergency in the parliamentary constituency of Batu Sapi in Sabah to postpone it’s upcoming by-election, which was originally scheduled for Dec 5.

As of Friday, Malaysia registered 52,638 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 329 deaths.

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Source: CNA/vt

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