On 8 March 2022, the Prime Minister of Malaysia, Dato’ Sri Ismail Sabri Yaakob, announced
that Malaysia will commence its transition to the endemic phase and reopen its borders from 1 April 2022. Our write-up on the Prime Minister’s announcement can be read here
To give effect to the foregoing, the Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases (Measures within Infected Local Areas) (National Recovery Plan) (Transition Phase to Endemic) Regulations 2022
[P.U. (A) 83/2022] (“the Transition to Endemic Regulations
”) were gazetted on 31 March 2022 and came into force on 1 April 2022.
The Regulations revoke the Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases (Measures within Infected Local Areas) (National Recovery Plan) Regulations 2021
[P.U. (A) 293/2021] (“the NRP Regulations
”). Our write-up on the NRP Regulations can be read here
This Alert provides a summary of the salient provisions of the Transition to Endemic Regulations.
Control of movement and gatherings
- No person shall, during any designated phase1 –
- participate or be involved in any procession; or
- gather or be involved in any gathering in any premises within any infected local area2,
unless permitted to do so under any directions issued by the Director General of Health (“Director General”) as published on the website of the National Security Council (“NSC Website”)3.
- Entry into, or exit from, a place that is subject to an enhanced movement control order4 is prohibited except for any person who is providing healthcare and medical services or is permitted by an authorised officer.
Requirement to wear tracing device
- No person shall participate in any prohibited activities as determined in the directions issued by the Director General as published on the NSC Website.
An authorised officer may direct any person who is infected by Covid-19 or whom he has reason to believe to be infected by the Covid-19, or any contact, to wear a tracing device provided to him. Such persons must comply with any directions issued by an authorised officer and it is an offence to destroy, damage, lose or tamper with the tracing device.
Notwithstanding the maximum capacity of the number of passengers that may be carried by any land, sea or air public transport, such transport may, during any designated phase, only carry such number of passengers in accordance with the directions issued by the Director General as published on the NSC Website.
Health examination upon arrival in Malaysia
Any person permitted by the Director General of Immigration to enter Malaysia from overseas may be directed to undergo health examination upon arrival in Malaysia at any point of entry, or at any other place determined by the Director General. When a person is directed upon such examination to undergo quarantine, that person may be required to wear a tracing device provided by an authorised officer.
Isolation or surveillance of infected persons and suspects
An authorised officer may, by any means, direct any person who is infected by Covid-19 or whom he has reason to believe to be infected by Covid-19 to undergo isolation or surveillance in such place and for such period as he may think fit or until that person may be discharged without danger to the public. To that end, an authorised officer may use such force as may be necessary to ensure compliance with his directions.
Foreign employees to undergo Covid-19 detection test
To prevent and control the spread of Covid-19 at a workplace, an authorised officer may direct any employer who employs a foreign employee to cause the foreign employee5
to undergo a Covid-19 detection test at the employer’s cost.
Cost and expenses charged or incurred for medical attendance and maintenance at quarantine station
An authorised officer may cause any person or foreign employee to be removed to a quarantine station for treatment or direct such person or foreign employee to undergo observation and surveillance in any place. The cost and expenses charged or incurred for the medical attendance and maintenance shall, in the case of a foreign employee, be borne by the employer of the foreign employee, and in the case of any other person, be borne by that person.
Special provision relating to control of movement within the States of Sabah and Sarawak
The movement control measures and conditions for the purpose of preventing and controlling the spread of Covid-19 within the States of Sabah and Sarawak shall be as directed by the Director General. Such directions shall be published on the NSC Website.
The prohibitions and restrictions imposed under the Transition to Endemic Regulations are substantially similar to those under the NRP Regulations save that the restrictions on movement of persons have been relaxed. The Director General still has a wide discretion to vary or relax the prohibitions and restrictions for each designated phase through the issuance of directions to be published on the NSC Website.
Nightclubs is the last activity remaining on the “negative list” and will not be allowed to operate during the “Transition to Endemic” phase. It remains to be seen whether the Government will allow nightclubs to re-commence operations as the Malaysian economy slowly recovers from the adverse economic impact brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Alert prepared by Tan Wei Liang (Senior Associate) of Skrine
A “designated phase” refers to “any phase in the National Recovery Plan determined and announced by the Government from time to time and published in the website of the National Security Council
An “infected local area” refers to “any area declared to be an infected local area under the Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases (Declaration of Infected Local Areas) Order 2020 [P.U.(A) 87/2020]
The NSC Website can be accessed here
An “enhanced movement control order” refers to directions given by an authorised officer under section 11(3) of the Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases Act 1988.
A “foreign employee” refers to a holder of a Visit Pass (Temporary Employment) issued under regulation 11 of the Immigration Regulations 1963 [F.L.N. 228/1963].