Friday, March 12, 2021

Government Greenlights Interstate Movements For RMCO Areas As Part Of Domestic Travel Bubble

In yet another update for the on-going Movement Control Order (MCO) implementation across Malaysia, the government will be lifting the ban on interstate movements for all the areas that have been designated as Recovery MCO (RMCO) zones. The new policy will be in place starting from tomorrow, 10 March according to the Senior Minister (Security Cluster), Ismail Sabri Yaakob.

At the moment, areas that have been listed RMCO zones include Perlis, Putrajaya, Melaka, Pahang, Terengganu, Sabah, and Labuan. Langkawi will be joining the RMCO list tomorrow as well, even though other areas within Kedah are still listed as the Condition MCO (CMCO) zones.

However, the new policy is not as straight forward as you may have thought since it is being implemented to put some life back into the tourism sector which has been really hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic. Hence, that is why the interstate journey can only be handled by travel agencies that have registered with the Ministry of Tourism & Culture (MOTAC).

Furthermore, the journey can only be done using tour vehicles that have also been registered with MOTAC and must travel directly from one RMCO zone to another without stopping in CMCO areas. Minister Ismail cited a trip from Putrajaya to Melaka as an example, whereby a tour bus has to go straight through Negeri Sembilan which is still a CMCO zone, during the journey.

Travel agencies will not only be responsible for the travel arrangements but also accommodation and tour activities. These details will be then presented to the police when these agencies apply for interstate travel permission on behalf of their customers.

As for why the public is being prohibited from making the interstate journey themselves using their own vehicles, this is because the police believe that it will be hard to monitor the interstate movements of private vehicles.

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