• Qistina Khairudin


The Sarawak State Disaster Management Committee (SDMC) has announced that it will be extending its compulsory screening at the state’s entry points until 31st August 2020. This will cover all Malaysians entering the state from Peninsular, Sabah, and Labuan.

SDMC Chairman Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas has mentioned that quarantine exemption could be given to those entering the state for official travel or business. This is aimed at civil servants and the business sectors under essential services.

He said exemption can be applied online via the SDMC website and they are required to bring a letter of approval from their head of department or employer. However, at the time of writing, the form isn’t available on the website. The decision to cut down on the frequency of flights into the state on 1st August has also been extended until 31st August. For Malaysians entering the state with the final destination in interior towns which are far away from health clinics that could take COVID-19 samples, they would be subjected to extended quarantine at a hotel until 31st August.

If the test results return negative, they are allowed to go home. For passengers that return from a red zone, they must undergo quarantine at a hotel before they are allowed to go home. On Monday, the SDMC has announced that it’s lifting interzone travel restrictions in the state from 15th August. Those intending to travel between Kuching, Samarahan, and Serian (Zone 1) to Sri Aman, Betong, Sarikei, Mukah, Sibu, Kapit, Bintulu, Miri and Limbang (Zone 2) will no longer need to obtain a permit starting this Saturday. The roadblocks at Simunjan and Sri Aman will be dismantled on 15th August.

The travel restrictions were introduced late last month due to a spike of cases in Kuching which turned the state’s capital into a red zone. At the moment, Kuching and Serian are categorized as a yellow zone with one local case reported in both districts in the past 14 days.

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