The government has approved the standard operating procedures (SOPs) proposed by the Human Resource Ministry for foreign workers to enter the country, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob said.
Ismail, who chairs the Covid-19 Special Committee on Pandemic Management, said the move was in response to labour shortages, particularly in the plantation sector.
“These SOPs will be enforced in all designated sectors and approved on a case-by-case basis by the Foreign Workers Committee co-chaired by the home affairs minister and the human resources minister.
“The Covid-19 Special Committee on Pandemic Management meeting today also approved the SOPs on the entry of foreign workers into the country. Meanwhile, quotas and dates of entry of foreign workers for other employment sectors are subject to the decision of the Joint Meeting of the Minister of Home Affairs and the Minister of Human Resources,” Ismail said in a statement.
Among others, the SOPS require that the workers must be fully vaccinated in their home countries using vaccines approved by the World Health Organisation (WHO) and produce certificates to prove this.
Further, the workers must also undergo the RT-PCR test 72 hours before departure and would still be required to undergo a quarantine for a period to be fixed by the Ministry of Health (MoH).
Currently the mandatory quarantine period is seven days. The workers must also perform the quarantine at government-approved facilities in the Klang Valley.
However, Thai nationals working on local fishing vessels will be allowed to quarantine at centres near to the entry points.
The foreign workers must also undergo RT-PCR tests on the second and fifth day of their quarantine. Should they test positive, those who fall under Categories 1 and 2 of the Covid-19 infection must be isolated at a private Quarantine and Low-Risk Treatment Centre (PKRC), whereas those who fall under the more serious Categories 3,4 and 5 must be referred to private hospitals.
“The government would like to urge that these concessions be exercised with great discipline and responsibility. The success of bringing the country out of this pandemic does not only depend on the government’s efforts and strategies alone.
“It is also very much dependent on the level of community compliance towards the established SOPs. Therefore, wear a face mask, practise physical distancing and always take care of your personal hygiene and safety,” Ismail added.