Home Quarantine Now Possible for Ex-Patriates
Imagine having the permission to work in a foreign country and yet being unable to do so as you are prohibited from entry. That has been the dilemma faced by many ex patriates who hold Employment Passes but have been unable to enter Malaysia due to the current restrictions in place.
The present prohibition on entry does not augur well for the revival of the economic sector and yet a balance is needed to be maintained in addressing the wellbeing of the citizens. The requirements for quarantine have now seen some form of relaxation where a home quarantine is potentially possible for expatriates who have made Malaysia their home over their years of employment.
Based on the recent government announcement in relation to home quarantine (effective from 10 August 2021), the government has set out the following requirements for home quarantine:
An expatriate who intends to undergo home quarantine must first apply for the home quarantine via email to [email protected]. The following documents must be attached in the same email for the consideration of the home quarantine application:
The expatriate will be notified of the outcome of the home quarantine application by email. Upon arrival in Malaysia, the expatriate who exhibits no Covid-19 symptoms will be permitted to undertake the second RT-PCR test. If the individual exhibits light Covid-19 symptoms, he/she will be required to undertake either the RTK-AG test or RT-PCR test. However, if the expatriate exhibits moderate or severe Covid- 19 symptoms, the individual will be referred to the infectious disease expert for further assessment.
According to the Standard Operating Procedures of the Ministry of Heath, the individual will be given a digital Home Surveillance Order for his/her home quarantine. The individual is required to wear the quarantine wristband or electronic digital tracker during the entire period of the home quarantine. The individual must also complete the Home Assessment Tool (“HAT”) found in the MySejahtera application on a daily basis. Notwithstanding the issuance of the Covid-19 vaccination certification, the expatriate will still be subjected to the mandatory quarantine period of 14 days (21 days for travellers from India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Nepal and Pakistan). The underlying rationale for this requirement being that although the individual has been fully vaccinated the risk factor is still prevalent and hence the need to exercise precaution.
On the 10th day of the mandatory quarantine period, the individual is required to take the RT-PCR test (18th day for the expatriate who needs to undergo home quarantine for 21 days). If the RT-PCR result is negative the ex patriate will be issued a “Release Order” via the MySejahtera application on the 14th day of the quarantine period. He/She is required to go to the nearest District Health Office to have the quarantine wristband cut. The quarantine period of 14 days may be extended to 21 days depending on the risk assessment conducted on the 10th day.
Re-activation of the MM2H Programme
The long awaited Malaysia My Second Home “MM2H” has seen a beacon of light injected with the recent announcement of Datuk Wan Ahmad Dahlan Abdul Aziz, Home Ministry Secretary-General, on the re-activation of the MM2H Programme as part of the initiative to boost the economy under the National Recovery Plan. The programme which was previously under the purview of the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture of Malaysia will now be under the purview of the Immigration Department of Malaysia commencing from October 2021.
As an enhanced security measure, only applicants with no criminal records will be eligible to apply for the MM2H programme subject to fulfilling all other requirements. The reactivation of the progamme has also brought about additional stringent requirements for eligibility including but not limited to the introduction of a cap on the number of participants, including the principal and their dependents at any one time to be not more than 1% of the total Malaysian population. As this reactivation has only been recently announced there may well be a refining of criteria and qualifications in the months to come.
The re-activation of the MM2H Programme has brought about some drastic changes to the initial MM2H Programme in Malaysia as follows :
This article was co-written by Suganthi Singam and Chui Siew Xuan.
Should you have any enquires, please contact Suganthi Singam at [email protected].