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Government Drops the Hammer: No Raya Travel, No End to CMCO, No Flights To or From India

Ismail Sabri has gotten a lot of practice delivering bad news during the pandemic | Image Credit: The Star
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Those holding out for any good news for the festive season got a hefty dose of disappointment.

The latest surge of Covid-19 cases in Malaysia has thrown cold water on any hopes of interstate travel during the Hari Raya holidays next month, the second consecutive year of balik kampung and other festive traditions being shelved. Hari Raya will fall on either May 13 or 14 this year (depending on the sighting of the moon by religious authorities).

Moreover, Selangor, Kuala Lumpur, Johor, Penang, and Sarawak will remain under conditional movement control order (CMCO) restrictions until May 17, said Senior Minister (Security) Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob.

He added that the RMCO status in Perlis, Kedah (except Kuala Muda), Perak, Melaka, Negeri Sembilan (except Seremban), Pahang, Terengganu, Putrajaya, and Labuan also remains in force.

“The MCO, CMCO, and RMCO status in these states will take effect from April 29 until May 17, 2021, except for Sarawak, which begins on April 27 until May 17, 2021,” he said.

Meanwhile, Ismail Sabri said interstate travel is still not allowed except for tourism activities between RMCO states under the green travel bubble concept, as the rate of infectivity (the R-naught number) has been over 1.0 for 20 consecutive days.

With the latest extension, Malaysia’s most populous states and territories will have been under various movement control orders for 14 months.

INDIA’S COVID CRISIS SPURS NEW BAN

In another development, Malaysia has temporarily banned all travel to and from India with effect from Wednesday, April 28, as the pandemic there spins out of control.

The government has also temporarily banned the entry of foreign workers, international students, and business travellers from India.

Travel to and from India is temporarily banned | Image Credit: FMT

Any Malaysian citizens who fall under these categories, however, along with their foreign spouses and children, will still be allowed entry into the country on the condition that they undergo 14 days of quarantine.

Somewhat surprisingly, it was also announced that the same exemption will apply to religious groups travelling to Malaysia from India.

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