Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas

KUCHING: Sarawakians who leave the state to Malaya, Sabah and Labuan for official duty or business — either with the government or private departments — and return within two days are exempted from quarantine.

Sarawak Disaster Management Committee (SDMC) chairman Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas said although they are not required to undergo quarantine, they still have to bring along a letter of Arahan Rasmi Bertugas (Official Duty Instruction) from the head of department or employer.

“Upon entry, they still need to fill in the e-HDF (Health Declaration Form).

“But they are not needed to have their samples taken for Covid-19 test,” he said at the daily Covid-19 update press conference here on Friday.

Meanwhile, for trips of more than two days, they will be sampled but will not be quarantined.

Uggah also explained that the changes in standard operating procedure (SOP) from time to time were necessary to fit with the current development of the Covid-19 situation inside and outside the state.

He also urged members of the public to understand the situations which may differ to some people.

He was referring to a complaint by a Facebook user who claimed that everyone had to queue up at the airport but one passenger managed to skip the queue and allowed to pass straight to the Immigration counter without having her sample taken.

He said the passenger who was allowed to skip the swab test was actually under the exemption category.

Uggah also stressed that the quarantine exemption was made strictly for Sarawakians who leave Sarawak to Malaya, Sabah and Labuan for official duty or business either with the government or private departments.

He mentioned that for those who fall outside of that category, be it visitors or those coming for unofficial business, they are required to have their sample taken.

“Upon their arrival, they will have to undergo quarantine until their sample results are out. If the results came back negative, they don’t need to finish the remaining quarantine period,” he said.