National Recovery Council (MPN) chairman and former prime minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin announced yesterday that interstate travel is expected to be allowed as early as mid-October.
Coinciding with this is the projection that 90% of Malaysia’s adult population is expected to be fully vaccinated by that time, following a previous statement by current prime minister Dato' Sri Ismail Sabri bin Yaakob that interstate travel will be relaxed.
After chairing an MPN meeting in Putrajaya, the chairman said to reporters: “It may be in early or mid-October, at the latest. You all will be able to move around but always remember the SOPs.” Also in attendance were Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin, Finance Minister Tengku Zafrul Aziz, International Trade and Industry Minister Mohamed Azmin Ali, and Education Minister Radzi Jidin.
Apart from interstate travel being a possibility in the near future, the matter of the reopening of international borders was also brought up, a matter to which Muhyiddin confirmed was also being considered: “I hope this will be announced soon. “This was a decision that would have a big impact on the country,” he added.
Separately, on the subject of the reopening of schools and higher learning institutions, the council reiterated the decision to allow schools to conduct in-person classes in stages from October 3rd and for IPTs to resume operations in stages from October 15th.
Currently, fully vaccinated Malaysians are allowed out of state for leisure purposes only to visit specific ‘travel bubble’ destinations. These include Langkawi, which was the first to be opened up, but other locations such as Melaka, Tioman island, and Genting Highlands will join that list from October 1st.
The question remains if such a travel bubble will be abolished immediately following the reopening of interstate travel, wherein the majority of its limiting list of SOPs will no longer be valid or relevant.