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Malaysia Bans Travel from Pakistan Over COVID Spread

by Staff Report

File photo. Farooq Naeem—AFP

Senior minister announces that ban will also apply to citizens of Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Nepal

Malaysia this week announced it was imposing a travel ban on citizens of Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Pakistan, and Nepal in a bid to curb the entry and spread of new variants of the novel coronavirus.

A notification issued by Malaysian immigration said the ban would come into effect from May 8 (Saturday). Earlier, Senior Minister Ismail Yakoob had announced that the travel restrictions applied to all citizens of the affected countries, including holders of long-term social visit passes, business travelers, and tourists. “Exemptions are, however, given to holders of diplomatic passports and officials as stated in the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations 1961. This category will be considered to enter Malaysia using the existing standard operating procedures,” he added.

Malaysia had last month temporarily banned flights from and to India to curb the spread of a new variant of COVID-19 from there. It had also imposed similar restrictions on ships and Indian citizens with Malaysian work permits.

Travel to and from Pakistan has already been banned by the U.K. and Saudi Arabia due to an ongoing third wave of the pandemic. Most parts of the country are set to go under “complete lockdown” from May 8-16 as part of the government’s “Stay Home, Stay Safe” campaign, with government officials urging citizens to mark Eidul Fitr with simplicity and avoid large gatherings to protect themselves and their fellow countrymen from the pandemic.

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