Covid-19: Recovery Movement Control Order (Relaxation of Restrictions) *Update No.5*

We had previously issued updates on the relaxations announced by the Malaysian Government to the prohibitions and restrictions under the Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases (Measures within Infected Local Areas) (No. 7) Regulations 2020 (‘RMCO Regulations’) for the period 10 June 2020 to 31 August 2020 (‘RMCO Period’). Our Alert on the RMCO Regulations and the earlier updates are available here, here, here, here and here.
Senior Minister (Security Cluster), Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob (‘Ismail Sabri), has recently announced several changes made by the Government to the prohibitions and restrictions under the RMCO Regulations. We summarise below the salient points of these changes–
Reopening of borders to healthcare travellers
Healthcare travellers from designated green zone countries such as Brunei, Singapore, South Korea, Japan, Australia and New Zealand are now allowed to enter Malaysia to seek medical treatment provided that they undergo Covid-19 screening before departure.1 Upon arrival, these travellers will be immediately brought to the hospital for treatment.
Mandatory quarantine at hotels and quarantine centres for returnees2 
All returnees to Malaysia, including Malaysians and non-citizens who have been allowed to enter the country, have to undergo mandatory quarantine at hotels or quarantine centres starting today, with the full cost of the mandatory quarantine and health screening having to be borne by the returnees.3 Previously, returnees who tested negative for Covid-19 upon arrival in Malaysia were allowed to undergo their mandatory quarantine at home. The revocation of home quarantine procedures is largely due to the fact that a number of returnees had failed to comply with the standard operating procedures for home quarantine, thereby creating a risk of local transmission of the Covid-19 virus.
Ismail Sabri announced that Malaysians returning to Malaysia are no longer required to undergo a Covid-19 swab test three days before departure but non-citizens are still required to undergo a Covid-19 swab test three days before departure.
Ismail Sabri added that family members, spouses, and children aged 12 and below are allowed to share a room with their parents returning from the same place abroad while undergoing mandatory quarantine at the designated quarantine stations provided that they signed a consent letter that they understand the risk of a Covid-19 infection in sharing a room.
Use of face masks mandatory in crowded public areas and public transport4
The Government announced that it is mandatory for the public to wear face masks in crowded public areas and in public transport starting 1 August 2020. Ismail Sabri added that those who fail to comply with the ruling may be issued a fine or prosecuted in court.
To alleviate the cost to the public that arises from the implementation of this measure, the Minister of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs, Datuk Alexander Nanta Linggi, announced that the ceiling price for face masks will be reduced to RM1.20 from RM1.50 per unit and the wholesale price for face masks will be reduced to RM1.15 from RM1.45 per unit starting 15 August 2020.5
Alert prepared by Tan Wei Liang (Associate) of Skrine.
1 ‘No more quarantine at home’, The Star Online, 22 July 2020.
2 ‘Covid-19: Hotel quarantine mandatory for all returning to M'sia starting Friday (July 24), says Ismail Sabri (updated)’, The Star Online, 21 July 2020, ‘Children below 12 can share room with parents in quarantine stations — Ismail Sabri’, The Edge Markets Online, 23 July 2020 and ‘Families returning from abroad may share room during quarantine’, New Straits Times Online, 23 July 2020.
3 The Government announced that for sponsored students, their respective sponsors are required to bear the cost of the mandatory quarantine while students from B40 households and people with disabilities may apply for an exemption.
4 ‘Covid-19: Use of face masks in crowded public areas to be mandatory from Aug 1, says Ismail Sabri’, The Star Online, 23 July 2020.
5 ‘Face mask ceiling price set at RM1.20 from Aug 15’, The Star Online, 23 July 2020.