Saturday, October 31

Abdul Karim: Relaxing entry requirements into Sarawak to be discussed in tomorrow’s Cabinet meeting

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Passengers arriving from Kuala Lumpur and Miri yesterday were screened at Miri Airport before being sent to their respective hotels to undergo a mandatory 14-day quarantine.

KUCHING (Oct 14): Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah plans to seek relaxation for the entry requirements of visitors from Peninsular Malaysia into Sarawak, in light of the isolated Covid-19 cases there.

He plans to bring the matter up in the Cabinet tomorrow.

“We have to be selective. For Sabah, we closed the door as the number of cases is out of control with hundreds of cases, but in Peninsular Malaysia the increase in cases are mostly in prisons and isolated cases and it should be okay to open our borders, including airports,” he told a press conference on the Sarawak Youth Day celebration at his office today.

Currently, those entering the state from outside Sarawak are required to undergo a mandatory 14-day quarantine, while those from Sabah are not permitted entry, from Oct 4 to Oct 18.

This was announced by State Disaster Management Committee’s (SDMC) chairman Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas on Oct 1.

He was asked if invited guests from Peninsular Malaysia for the Sarawak Youth Day celebration at Samarahan on Nov 7 would need to undergo quarantine in light of the pandemic.

“It’s hard for me to answer as the directive can change according to the current situation. We (SDMC) are even considering extending the mandatory 14-day quarantine beyond Oct 18.

However, he said his ministry does not want entry into the state to be controlled too strictly.

“But from my side, we want to see relaxation on this as the tourism and hotel industry are making a lot of noise about this as it affects them.”

He added that in Sarawak, the pandemic is well under control, and Sarawak serves as a model to other states.

Present were Assistant Minister of Youth and Sports Datuk Snowdan Lawan, permanent secretary to the Youth and Sports Ministry Nancy Jolhi.