Conditions for travellers when interstate travel is permitted

YS Chan

KUCHING: A tourism expert views that strict conditions must be imposed on fully vaccinated travellers when interstate travel is permitted.

YS Chan explained that immunity against Covid-19 would immediately go down after vaccination and it would take more than a month for immunity to rise above pre-vaccination level.

“Vaccination does not prevent contracting Covid-19, it only reduces the chances and severity after being infected and the virus could still be spread.

“Ultimately, it is crucial to wear double masks and practise physical distancing, especially when meeting up with family members and relatives who are not staying together,” he said on Friday (July 16).

He said that was why certain conditions should be imposed on vaccinees even though they had completed their doses.

“Many months ago, I had cautioned about the repercussions of lifting travel restrictions overnight and had suggested that only those with hotel bookings are allowed to travel at that time.

“Now that there are plans to allow those with double doses to travel, there should be conditions such as those contracting the virus be banned from travelling for 18 months after recovery.

“Such penalties are necessary to warn Malaysians that they ought to be careful.”

He added that allowing those fully vaccinated to travel would certainly benefit many, but it also provided a false sense of security.

On dining-in, Chan recommended solo dining per table.

“Covid-19 is spread by talking, laughing, coughing and sneezing, and seated around a table among friends or strangers.

“The risks of inter-division or interstate travel are the same, they depend on mode of transport to begin with.

“There is no extra risk for people in the same household travelling in a vehicle and highly risky in public transport such as in a bus or plane.”

Most Malaysians, he said, travelled to visit relatives and friends, and meeting up and staying together were highly risky.

“In short, travelling anywhere would be exposing people to all kinds of risks. One can be on guard the whole day, but a tiny slip can turn out to be costly.”

Chan was prompted for comments on Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin’s remarks on July 15 that he had asked the Special Committee for Ensuring Access to Covid-19 Vaccine Supply to look into giving some leeway for those who have completed both vaccine doses and are allowed to travel between states or dining at restaurants.