The Malaysian government announced on 3rd September 2020 that it will impose an entry ban on citizens of certain countries due to spikes in COVID-19 cases.
Since then, the Immigration Department released a list of countries whose citizens are barred from entering Malaysia effective Monday, 7th Sept 2020.
Long-term pass holders from 23 countries which have recorded more than 150,000 COVID-19 cases are prohibited from entering the country. The countries included in the list are the United States, Brazil, India, Russia, Peru, Colombia, South Africa, Mexico, Spain, Argentina, Chile, Iran, Bangladesh and the United Kingdom.
Other countries include Saudia Arabia, Pakistan, France, Turkey, Italy, Germany, Iraq, Philippines and Indonesia.
The ban involves six categories of pass holders, namely those with permanent resident status (PR), Malaysia My Second Home (MM2H) programme participants, expatriates including professional visit pass (PVP) holders and resident pass holders.
Also barred from entry were spouses of Malaysian citizens and their children as well as students who wanted to return to Malaysia.
Senior Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob said the government will add more countries that are deemed high risk into the list and their citizens will be barred from entering the country.
However, he said that exemptions would be given for emergency cases or matters pertaining to bilateral relations, but it would require permission from the Immigration Department. If they have gotten permission, authorities will make an exception and will allow these individuals entry.
A number of parties such as the international chambers of commerce have asked the government to reconsider their decision regarding the entry ban on these countries. This latest policy might impact business operations and cause an immediate loss of millions of dollars at both the business and trade levels.
The National Association of Private Education Institutions (Napei) said the government should find alternative solutions as the ban will also negatively affect the economy.
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