Malaysia’s government imposed temporary entry bans on nationals and travellers from India1 effective 28 April 2021, and Bangladesh, Pakistan, Nepal, and Sri Lanka effective 5 May 20212.
As a precautionary measure to further prevent the spread of the new coronavirus variants (i.e., “variant of concern”), the Malaysian government is also extending the quarantine period to 14 days for travellers entering Malaysia from countries which have the variant of concern virus strain3 effective 1 May 2021.
For those travellers from a country not on the list, the quarantine period remains as 7 or 10 days depending on the availability of a COVID-19 test taken 72 hours before arriving in Malaysia.
An updated entry guideline with effect from 1 May 2021, was also released by the National Disaster Management Agency (NADMA).4
In light of these changes involving the aforementioned countries, individuals (and their employers) may experience some inconvenience and disruption to their daily life and professional activities, as well as their travel. The aim of the measures imposed by the government is to protect public health and stem further transmissions of the coronavirus.
It is important for companies and their globally-mobile employees to plan accordingly.
Indeed, until such time as the government decides it is safe to rescind or more significantly roll-back these travel restrictions, remote working may be considered a “best practice” for globally-mobile employees – apart from “essential workers” – to the extent possible, and is a way for employers to foster the safety of their employees and help ensure business continuity.
Any individuals impacted by the travel restrictions and applicable quarantine extension may wish to consult with their global mobility advisers, travel agents, and immigration legal counsel as soon as possible for advice on next steps.
1 See Immigration Department of Malaysia, Expatriate Services Division, "Exit and Entry Procedures for the Country of India During the Movement Control Order," (4 May 2021): https://esd.imi.gov.my/portal/latest-news/announcement/exit-entry-procedures%20for-country-india-during-mco/.
2 See “Malaysia bans entry of travellers from Bangladesh, Pakistan, Nepal and Sri Lanka — Ismail Sabri,” The Edge Markets (online), 5 May 2021: https://www.theedgemarkets.com/article/malaysia-bans-entry-travellers-bangladesh-pakistan-nepal-and-sri-lanka-%E2%80%94-ismail-sabri. (Note that this is a 3rd-party (non-governmental, non-KPMG) website. Provision of this link does not represent an endorsement of the website by KPMG.)
3 For a list of countries with a variant of concern (“VOC”), see the website of the Ministry of Health (in Malay): http://covid-19.moh.gov.my/. Or go directly to: Senarai Negara yang Melaporkan Penularan Dalam Komuniti Variant of Concern (VOC) SARS-CoV-2 | COVID-19 MALAYSIA (moh.gov.my) .
4 Guidelines on entry and quarantine process : http://www.nadma.gov.my/ms/info/panduan-kebenaran-memasuki-malaysia-mulai-24-julai-2020.
Please note the KPMG International member firm in the United States does not provide immigration or labour law services. However, KPMG Law LLP in Canada can assist clients with U.S. immigration matters.
The information contained in this newsletter was submitted by the KPMG International member firm in Malaysia.
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