PUTRAJAYA, June 29 — Beginning today Malaysians and foreigners entering the country will have to bear the cost of COVID-19 tests which are conducted upon their arrival, said Senior Minister (Security Cluster) Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob.
He said, however, three categories of individuals including differently abled people (OKU) carrying the OKU card issued by the Social Welfare Department (JKM) would be exempted from paying.
The other two categories which need not pay for the tests are government officers returning from official duty and students coming back for the first time, with proof of their studies, he added.
“Anyone in these three categories who have paid for their screening before this decision on fee waiver was made can claim for a refund from the Health Ministry (MOH),” he told a press conference here today.
It was reported that the COVID-19 tests for returning Malaysians cost between RM30 and RM150 each while the charge for foreigners is between RM60 and RM250.
Meanwhile, Ismail Sabri reminded all who are involved in the Chini state by-election to adhere to the standard operating procedure (SOP) set for the Recovery Movement Control Order (RMCO) period.
He said the police would not compromise with anyone who flouts the SOP, which is aimed at curbing the spread of COVID-19.
“I do not know how many reports have been made on breach of the SOP in the Chini by-election. I wish to remind all concerned — the workers, public, supporters and voters — to abide by the SOP.
“Failure to comply may cause them to face action by the authorities,” he said.
Ismail Sabri also reminded school students who have resumed classes to observe the SOP, especially on social distancing, at all times.
He gave the reminder following viral reports on social media that some students ignored the SOP the moment they stepped out of the school compound.
“This involved students sitting for their SPM and STPM examinations and they should be mature enough to look after their own safety and practise self-discipline. So, I hope they will continue to abide by the SOP even when outside the school perimeter,” he said.
He also said the government had no plans to ban motorcycle convoys although 358 summonses were issued against motorcyclists for various offences during the Ops Tutup Khas in Temerloh, Pahang, yesterday.
“Yesterday’s incident was an isolated case. But if motorcycle convoys persist in violating regulations by gathering in big groups and not practising social distancing, the government might review the permission given them,” he said.