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COVID-19: Sarawak bans arrivals from Sabah, quarantine for arrivals from West Malaysia

With the recent surge of new COVID-19 cases in Malaysia, the Sarawak state government have announced new restrictions on interstate arrivals. This comes shortly after the Sarawak Disaster Management Committee (SDMC) had introduced new restrictions such as mandatory rT-PCR tests and shorter entry pass duration for non-Sarawakians entering the state via Sabah.

According to the SDMC, the decision was made due to the increase in the number of COVID-19 cases outside of Sarawak. The new measures are introduced to protect the state from getting more imported cases.

No entry for non-Sarawakians in Sabah and Labuan

Starting 4th October until 18th October, all Malaysians and foreigners that are currently in Sabah and Labuan are not allowed to enter Sarawak. However, Sarawakians in Sabah and Labuan are allowed to return home but they must first apply via EnterSarawak and fill up the eHealth Declaration Form (eHDF).

Sarawakians arriving from Sabah are required to undergo a mandatory 14 day quarantine at designated centres and take a RT-PCR COVID-19 test on the 2nd and 10th day. The cost for the quarantine and COVID-19 tests will be paid by the state government.

For those in the Oil & Gas industry, the current SOP still applies. Meanwhile, those involved in sectors categorised under “Essential Services” which include delivery service via land, must obtained a special approval letter from the Division Disaster Management Committee in Miri or Labuan and undergo a RT-PCR test before their starting thier duties. They must also repeat the test every 14 days.

Those that require to travel through Brunei’s borders are advised to adhere to the latest instructions released by the Brunei government.

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Arrivals from West Malaysia

All Malaysians and foreigners in West Malaysia that wish to enter Sarawak must also submit an application via EnterSarawak and fill up the eHealth Declaration Form (eHDF). All arrivals from West Malaysia are subject to 14-day quarantine and must take a COVID-19 test on the 2nd and 10th day. The cost of quarantine and tests are to be paid by the individual.

For non-Sarawakians who are categorised under “Essential Services”, they are also required to apply via EnterSarawak and fill up the eHDF. A RT-PCR COVID-19 test is required 3 days before the flight.

Meanwhile, Sarawakians currently in West Malaysia are allowed to return and they are also required to apply via EnterSarawak and fill up the eHDF. A 14-day mandatory quarantine is also required and they must take a RT-PCR test on the 2nd day.

If the test returns negative, they are allowed to complete the remainder of the quarantine period at home and are served with a Home Surveillance Order (HSO). On the 10th day, they must take another RT-PCR test at their nearest health clinic. The state government with bear the cost for quarantine and RT-PCR tests for Sarawakians.

Essential Travel from Sarawak to West Malaysia

For Sarawakians categorised under “Essential Services” that require to travel to West Malaysia for duties, they are able to submit an application so that they can return home without being quarantined at designated zones. They must also apply via EnterSarawak with supporting authorisation letter and fill up the eHDF.

Upon arrival, they will get a swab test, a wristband and placed under home quarantine until their test results return negative. If they have a valid RT-PCR COVID-19 test with negative results (valid for 14 days), they can submit the test result with their EnterSarawak application along with their supporting authorisation letter. Upon arrival, they can return home without being quarantine at designated centres.

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For arrivals from overseas, the current SOP remains unchanged. All arrivals are subject to mandatory quarantine at the “First Point of Entry” in Sarawak.

Meanwhile, Senior Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob has recently announced an inter-district travel ban in Sabah which will start from 3rd October. The Targeted Enhanced MCO in 4 districts namely Lahad Datu, Tawau, Kunak and Semporna is still in place.

[ SOURCE, IMAGE SOURCE ]

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Alexander Wong