Petaling Jaya—At a press conference on Sunday (Sept 6), the Health Minister of Malaysia announced that the government would no longer let travellers from Singapore under the Periodic Commuting Arrangement (PCA) serve their quarantine at home.
They must now be confined to quarantine centers for the duration of their quarantine, reported The Star Online.
The PCA lets residents from Singapore and Malaysia who have long-term immigration passes for business and work purposes to go in and out of both countries. Those who avail of the PCA are obligated to serve Stay Home Notices of at least one week.
According to Datuk Seri Dr Adham Baba, the decision to no longer allow home quarantine came after a Malaysian national returning to the country under the PCA tested positive for coronavirus.
The traveller, a 35-year-old male, entered Malaysia on August 29. He was confirmed as positive for Covid-19 four days later, on September 2.
He said at the press conference for the the launch of the Sungai Rengit Health Clinic at Kota Tinggi, “The patient has since been isolated and given treatment.
As such, those travelling under the PCA will no longer be allowed to quarantine at home but would instead have to be kept in quarantine centres.”
Furthermore, travellers who stay in quarantine centres in hotels are obligated to pay the expenses for their stay.
The Malaysian Health Minister said that over 3,000 people have come to Malaysia after the PCA and Reciprocal Green Lane (RGL) took effect on August 17. The RGL allows people to travel between two countries for 14 days at the most, and only for “essential business and official purposes.”
He announced, “About 815 individuals entered Malaysia under the RGL while another 2,647 under the PCA.
So far, there have been no Covid-19 cases reported for those travelling back under the RGL.”
There is no announcement yet for the fixed date for the third and fourth phases of the reopening of the border to Singapore, as this is still under discussion, the Health Minister said. Under discussion as well are the standard operating procedures for the daily commute of workers between the two nations.
He added, “We want to see whether the RGL and PCA could be implemented smoothly between both countries, ” he said.
The Prime Ministers of Singapore and Malaysia agreed via a June 26 telephone call to set the RGL and the PCA, provided that stringent SOPs would be put in place for both countries.
At a press conference on August 13 at the Bangunan Sultan Iskandar Customs, Immigration and Quarantine Complex, Baharuddin Tahir, the director of Johor Immigration Department, said, “We will only allow 400 a week or 50 or 60 people a day for RGL which is open to all nationalities and 2,000 people a day under the PCA which is for Malaysian and Singaporean citizens only.
Applications can be made through the website and approval for the RGA or PCA will be notified via email within 24 hours before one starts their journey.”
Mr Tahir also assured that there will be enough manpower to allow the smooth flow of vehicles and pedestrians, and that health measures such as temperature checks would be carried out as a prerequisite for all visitors to enter Singapore via the Causeway. —/TISG