Wednesday, October 20, 2021

Interstate travel expected to be given green light in October

The authorities are also looking into the possibility of reopening the country's borders.

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Interstate travel is expected to be allowed from next month based on data after 90% of adults have been fully vaccinated, says National Recovery Council (MPN) chairman Muhyiddin Yassin.

“It may be in early or mid-October, at the latest. You all will be able to move around but always remember the SOPs,” he said to reporters after chairing an MPN meeting in Putrajaya today.

Also present at the meeting were Finance Minister Tengku Abdul Aziz, International Trade and Industry Minister Mohamed Azmin Ali, Education Minister Radzi Jidin and Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin.

Muhyiddin said the question of reopening the country’s borders was also being looked into by the relevant ministries and would be discussed with Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob.

“I hope this will be announced soon,” he said, adding that apart from inter-district and interstate travel, the reopening of the country’s borders was also important to speed up Malaysia’s recovery process.

Muhyiddin said the discussions on this matter had covered the proposed reopening of the country’s borders to tourists, traders and entrepreneurs to enable them to come to Malaysia and for Malaysians to visit the countries that would receive those who had been fully vaccinated.

“This was a decision that would have a big impact on the country,” he added.

Muhyiddin said the MPN meeting today also focused on preparations for reopening of the education sector.

The MPN was given a detailed briefing on the latest Covid-19 developments in the country by the health ministry, and the Plan on Reopening and Operations of the Higher Learning Institutions for the 2021/2022 Academic Session and Evaluation Report on the Reopening of Schools by the education ministry, he said.

The meeting took note of the reopening of tertiary institutions (IPT) in stages from Oct 15 and schools, also in stages from Oct 3, and the SOPs enforced to protect the IPT and school students against Covid-19, he added.

Muhyiddin said the meeting also approved the proposal paper on establishing State Recovery Councils to be chaired by the respective menteris besar or chief ministers.

He said the State Recovery Council would play the role of ensuring that the decisions of the MPN are implemented at the state level, taking cognisance of recovery strategies and initiatives, and monitoring the impact of the recovery initiatives implemented at the state and district levels.

He added that the proposed formation of State Recovery Councils and related mechanisms would be submitted to the prime minister and Cabinet members for consideration and agreement.

Muhyiddin said MPN would focus on the country’s recovery involving the various sectors and affected groups.

It will also focus on providing assistance to those doing business and to micro, small and medium-scale entrepreneurs for them to rise again and continue their businesses, as well as addressing post-pandemic poverty among urban and rural residents, he said.

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