International students will be allowed entry into Malaysia once more starting January 1, 2021, Senior Minister (Security Cluster) Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob said today.
However, he said the exception was for those coming from the United Kingdom ― where a new highly infectious strain of Covid-19 emerged recently ― resulting in parts of the country, including London, being placed under full lockdown.
“Students who will be eligible for this would those returning to universities or schools in Malaysia and new students who have already received offers from local universities and schools and have already found a place to live,” he said in a news conference this afternoon.
Ismail said the government will not allow students to travel to and from the UK just yet due to the high number of Covid-19 cases there.
He said this decision was made by the National Security Council together with the Ministry of Higher Education.
Ismail added that incoming students to Malaysia must adhere to the standard operating procedures (SOPs) already set by the National Security Council.
“Students must undergo Covid-19 testing three days prior to travelling to Malaysia, and must undergo another swab test the minute they arrive at the airport in Malaysia.
“Those who test negative during these tests must still undergo the mandatory 10-day quarantine at locations gazetted by the government. All cost will be borne by the student,” he said.
Recently, a mutant strain of the coronavirus was found in the United Kingdom.
Dubbed VUI ― 202012/01 ― has already caused a total lockdown of London and the South-east of England.
The UK’s official coronavirus website, there were 33,364 new cases and 215 new deaths there yesterday.
Several countries have already banned flights from the UK in light of this new strain and the high daily infections.
Among them are: Austria, Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Ireland, Italy, Israel, the Netherlands, Poland, Switzerland, and Russia.