The health ministry and National Security Council (NSC) are considering reducing the 14-day period for the mandatory Covid-19 quarantine to 10 days, MalaysiaNow is made to understand.
A government source said this was based on a study by the World Health Organization showing that seven days is enough time to determine whether a person has virus symptoms or not.
“A detailed study must be done before any announcement is made,” the source told MalaysiaNow on condition of anonymity.
“Let the health ministry and NSC do their work to study the matter from all aspects.
“The new quarantine period will be announced in the near future, taking into consideration whether the number of daily Covid-19 cases goes down or continues to increase.”
The source who is involved in monitoring daily Covid-19 numbers said other measures under consideration include making it compulsory for anyone wishing to enter the country to take a swab test three days before travelling.
“Upon arrival in Malaysia, they would only need to self-quarantine for seven days,” it added.
According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the quarantine period can end after the 10th day without the need for a Covid-19 test if no symptoms have been detected.
The CDC also said that swab tests can be carried out on the seventh day with results taken as valid if the individual in question has shown no sign of symptoms.
In neighbouring Singapore, the quarantine period was reduced from 14 days to seven beginning Aug 22 for travellers from low-risk countries including Malaysia, Macau, China, Vietnam, Taiwan and Australia excluding the state of Victoria.
Singapore Health Minister Gan Kim Yong said although the quarantine period had been shortened, social distancing should still be practised to ensure the health and safety of the individual in question as well as the general public.
The 14-day stay-at-home period for travellers from Malaysia was reimposed in November following a spike in case numbers.
Last month, the UK also announced a reduction in quarantine period for international travellers beginning mid-December if visitors are confirmed as Covid-free on the fifth day after arrival.
Like Malaysia, the quarantine period in the UK is 14 days.
The new rule is expected to revive the tourism industry in the UK which was heavily affected by travel restrictions due to Covid-19.