KUCHING: The public responded positively to Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob’s announcement on permitting interstate travel which came into full effect yesterday (Oct 11).
According to Niqalyssa Abdullah, a 24-year-old administrative coordinator, the decision to allow nationwide resumption of interstate travel was a step forward in reviving the nation’s economy.
“The ban on interstate travel has impacted many individuals and hopefully, those working in the tourism and transportation sectors can rebuild their lives again.”
She said that after nearly two years of isolation, it would make others relieved to finally be able to reconnect with loved ones and spend some time away from work.
“We hope to be able to follow all of the government’s efforts in maintaining public safety while also improving the country’s overall conditions after nearly two years of movement restriction.
“I believe the government has considered all factors and weighed the risks, so I am very confident in this decision,” she said.
On the other hand, Mohd Tarmizi, a 24-year-old social media manager, exhaled a sigh of relief at the announcement, hoping for a gradual return to normalcy in the country.
“It is reassuring to know that things may soon return to normal, but everyone should be aware that this is a process in which all lawful citizens must partake,” he said.
When asked if he intended to return to his hometown in Sibu, he said that he immediately booked a return ticket straight after the announcement was made.
“It has been a long time since I have been home. I hope everyone will be truly responsible this time in following all of the government’s procedures before travelling to prevent the transmission of the Covid-19 virus.
“It also gives me great relief to learn that no police permits or mandatory quarantine are required, and with the proper standard operating procedures (SOPs) in place, I think it is fair and safe for everyone to resume travel,” he added.
Announcing the decision in a live press conference on Sunday, Ismail Sabri said that interstate travel was only permitted for individuals who are fully vaccinated, and that it does not extend to visits to areas under the enhanced movement control order (EMCO).
However, the Sarawak State Disaster Management Committee (SDMC) stated that individuals wishing to enter Sarawak would still be required to apply via the EnterSarawak website; apart from also having to show that they are fully vaccinated with a negative swab test (valid for three days only) prior to travelling.