There will be no changes to the Malaysia’s Covid-19 quarantine rules at least until the year’s end, said Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin.
Currently, individuals who test positive for Covid-19 are required to undergo seven days of home quarantine, but they may be released if they test negative on the fourth day.
“One of the reasons why we are able to keep the pandemic under control today is the people’s adherence to these quarantine rules,” Khairy said on Saturday.
“When a person tests positive, they isolate themselves for seven days. If they test negative on the fourth day, they can be released.
“For now, we will maintain this until the end of the year when Act 342 is no longer enforced.”
Khairy was referring to the Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases Act 1988 (Act 342), under which the government can impose lockdowns and regulations similar to the Covid-19 movement control orders, and individuals found guilty can be fined up to RM1,000 (S$310) or be jailed for up to six months.
When asked about dishonesty among workers who claim they are Covid-19-positive to avoid going to work, Khairy said this was not a huge concern in Malaysia.
“I have not heard that this is a concern among employers here, so perhaps there are only isolated incidents,” he said.
“After we moved into the transition to endemicity phase, we leave it to individual responsibility and community solidarity. Whether we are truthful or not in our Covid-19 reporting is a matter of integrity.”
Khairy was asked to comment on the decision by certain countries to remove mandatory quarantine due to concerns about lack of manpower at workplaces.
On Friday, Khairy said Malaysia could end its transition to Covid-19 endemicity by the end of the year, and that a voluntary annual vaccination programme may be introduced.