Tuesday, December 7, 2021

Govt mulls reopening of country’s borders

This is by allowing entry to travellers from other countries with mutual recognition of vaccination certificates.

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National Recovery Council (MPN) chairman Muhyiddin Yassin today said that the government is considering how to safely reopen the country’s borders by allowing entry to travellers from other countries with mutual recognition of vaccination certificates.

He said the latest developments in overall Covid-19 indicators showed a drop in daily infections and a significant decrease in ICU bed usage while the vaccination rate for adults was nearing 95%.

“Based on these positive developments, the government is considering how to safely reopen the country’s borders by allowing foreign travellers from certain countries who have completed their vaccination to enter Malaysia without undergoing mandatory quarantine, through a programme for the mutual recognition of vaccine certificates as has been implemented in several other countries,” he said.

“This is a step in the right direction in the process of reopening the borders, which I am confident will revive economic activities especially in the sectors of tourism, international conventions, retail and others, in addition to facilitating the visits of both business and social travellers to our country.”

Muhyiddin said MPN would lay out the SOPs for travellers to enter the country once a decision is made, adding that the matter would be discussed at the Cabinet meeting today.

“I hope a decision will be made during the meeting because we have discussed the reopening of the country for a long time,” he said.

The MPN meeting today was the first to involve representatives from the opposition – PKR’s Subang MP Wong Chen, DAP’s Stampin MP Chong Chieng Jen, Amanah’s Kuala Selangor MP Dzulkefly Ahmad and Upko’s Bernard Dompok.

Muhyiddin said today’s meeting had also focused on the two groups most affected by the Covid-19 pandemic, namely SMEs and the vulnerable.

He said MPN had discussed the forms of assistance for SMEs during the recovery phase, especially on issues of liquidity and shortage of manpower, as well as the distribution of food aid for the vulnerable.

“Taking into account the existing forms of assistance and initiatives related to the finances and provision of manpower for SMEs under the various ministries and agencies, the council believes a more in-depth analysis needs to be done, to ensure that the affected industries are identified and timely solutions found.”

He said MPN had agreed to the formation of a special task force involving the finance ministry, Bank Negara Malaysia, the international trade and industry ministry, the human resources ministry and other relavant authorities to further refine issues related to funding, manpower and other needs of SMEs.

“This task force will present a detailed study and recommendations to MPN within a month for the council’s consideration,” he said.

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