Uggah speaks during the press conference. (Photo: UKAS)

KUCHING: The Ministry of Health (MoH) has approved the Sarawak Disaster Management Committee’s (SDMC) request to impose restrictions on movement between Zone 1 and Zone 2 which will come into effect starting August 1, announced Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas.

State Health Department (JKNS) director Dr Chin Zin Hing said that this movement between Zone 1 and Zone 2 would not be allowed in Sarawak except with written permission obtained from the police at the police station closest to the applicant’s residence.

“Zone 1 covers Kuching, Samarahan, and Serian. Zone 2 covers Sri Aman, Betong, Sarikei, Sibu, Kapit, Mukah, Bintulu, Miri, and Limbang. Both are according to the administrative boundaries in the state,” he said at the daily SDMC Covid-19 update press conference yesterday.

Meanwhile, Uggah, who is also SDMC chairman, reiterated that effective August 1, the use of face masks will be compulsory in public areas, shopping malls, public transport, markets, and eateries.

“Action will be taken by enforcement authorities if premise operators and customers are found to be not wearing face masks,” he said.

He said that the National Security Council (MKN) will be coming up with a standard on reusable face masks, adding that this will be announced as soon as it was finalised.

According to Dr Chin, disposable three-ply surgical face masks were acceptable.

“For the reusable ones, we advise that they also have three layers, with the middle layer being a filter. This is a general guide because there are many products in the market,” he said.

Uggah said that SDMC had also decided that effective August 1, all Malaysians (including Sarawakians) entering Sarawak from West Malaysia, Sabah, and Labuan will be fitted with a wristband and allowed to return to their respective homes.

He said that they would be required to take a Covid-19 sample on the first or second day at a nearby health clinic.

“For those whose final destination is in the rural regions or outside Kuching, Sibu, Bintulu, and Miri, they will be quarantined and a Covid-19 test sample will be taken on Day 2. If the result is negative, they will be allowed to return home without having to continue the remainder of their quarantine,” he said.

He said that for Sarawakians intending to go to West Malaysia, those in Zone 1 would require permission from the police but they would not need to undergo health screening three days before flying.