KUALA LUMPUR: Although roadblocks at borders will be removed when interstate travel is permitted, Khairy Jamaluddin said authorities will continue with checks on standard operating procedure compliance.
The Health Minister admitted that it would be more difficult to catch SOP offenders as having large-scale roadblocks was no longer viable.
“We cannot be having roadblocks and checking all travellers one by one to see if they are vaccinated and order them to do a test on the spot.
“It’s not viable. It will cause a massive traffic jam and only anger people who want to return to their hometowns after so long.
“As we transition towards the endemic phase, the onus is on us to be honest and responsible.
“This is not a case of the government trying to wash our hands of (the issue).
“The police will still be conducting random checks on the ground under Ops Patuh to enforce SOP compliance,” he told a press conference at Hospital Kuala Lumpur after a working visit there yesterday.
The minister was asked if the government intends to compel those yet to be vaccinated to take Covid-19 tests before travelling interstate.
Khairy said even if an unvaccinated individual manages to travel across borders, their movements would still be limited because of their status.
“If they travel into another state, they can’t dine in as the police will be conducting random checks.
“If they are caught, action can be taken against them and the premises owner,” he said.
The government will allow interstate travel once 90% of the adult population is fully vaccinated.
As of Wednesday, 88.8% of adults had completed their Covid-19 jabs and the 90% threshold is expected to be reached very soon.
In a tweet, Khairy said those who intend to balik kampung to meet their families should do a self-test before the journey as a preventive measure.
He said the government was also making plans to reduce the current ceiling price of Covid-19 self-test kits.
At present, the ceiling retail price is RM19.90 while the wholesale price is RM16.
“I’ve discussed fixing a lower price with the Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Ministry.
“We will announce it later so that there will be a transition period for the traders,” he added.
On another matter, Khairy said the government would not make it mandatory for the people to get Covid-19 vaccine booster shots.
“The booster shots will be offered to high-risk groups such as the elderly, the immunocompromised or healthcare workers.
“We will highly recommend that these groups get a third booster dose, six months after their second dose.
“We found there is a waning immune response from the vaccines administered,” he added.
Khairy also said the status of a fully vaccinated person would not be affected if they do not get booster shots.
Malaysia has started giving booster jabs this month with the initiative kicking off in Sarawak.