Fully-Inoculated Malaysians to Get Travel, Dine-In Perks
(Bloomberg) -- Malaysia eased virus restrictions for those who have completed the full vaccination regime, allowing them to cross state borders and dine at restaurants as authorities seek to re-open the economy.
Long-distance spouses can travel to see each other from Aug. 10, and parents can visit children who are below 18, Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin said in a televised broadcast on Sunday. Malaysians returning from overseas only need to quarantine at home, he said.
Malaysia is charting a path toward living with the virus even as daily cases remain high, following Singapore in using vaccination levels as the key to providing more leeway and privileges. The development comes just days after Malaysia’s health ministry urged caution against lifting curbs for fully-inoculated people, as new cases topped 20,000 for a second straight day on Friday. Sunday’s tally was at 18,688.
The gamble is greater for Malaysia though with its fully-vaccinated population at a level that’s less than half of its neighbor’s. It has over 224,000 active virus cases compared with about 2,000 in Singapore.
About 31% of Malaysia’s adult population has received both vaccine doses, while 64% have gotten at least one dose, according to the health ministry. Singapore aims to vaccinate 80% of its population by early next month, while Malaysia expects to inoculate 60% of its adults by end-September.
On Saturday, Finance Minister Tengku Zafrul Abdul Aziz said Malaysia will shift to using the number of new symptomatic Covid-19 hospital admissions as a gauge when considering whether to ease curbs in states that are in the first phase of its national recovery plan.
The indicator will replace the current measure of daily Covid cases if the state’s level of fully-vaccinated people reaches 50% of adults, he said in a statement.
Fully-vaccinated people are defined as those who have received both shots of the Pfizer, AstraZeneca and Sinovac vaccines for more than 14 days, Muhyiddin said. For single-shot vaccines such as Johnson & Johnson and Cansino, the wait time is 28 days after getting jabbed, he said.
Dining-in will be allowed in states that are in the second phase of the recovery plan, while outdoor exercise is permitted between 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. with social distancing.
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