Health Ministry releases new list of Malaysians exempted from paying for Covid-19 quarantine

A total of seven categories have been listed for returnees exempted from paying the fees for their quarantine at government-designated quarantine centres. ― Picture by Yusof Mat isa
A total of seven categories have been listed for returnees exempted from paying the fees for their quarantine at government-designated quarantine centres. ― Picture by Yusof Mat isa

KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 20 ― The Malaysian government has published a new and expanded list of returnees who need not pay for their compulsory quarantine if they meet criteria such as being from the B40 income bracket.

In the new government regulations gazetted yesterday, a total of seven categories were listed for returnees exempted from paying the fees for their quarantine at government-designated quarantine centres, including those with disability cards issued under the Persons with Disabilities Act 2008.

The other categories include Malaysians from the B40 group, Malaysian students from households in the B40 band, Malaysian children aged six and below, as well as Malaysian children aged 12 and below who were returning alone.

Also exempted from payment are Malaysians who are parents to, spouses of, or children of another in the B40 band, provided they were returning together.

The seventh and last category is for Malaysians returning to Malaysia immediately upon being released from prison overseas and unable to pay for the cost and expenses at the quarantine station, or has no source of income.

On the definition of B40, the government regulations stated this shall be as determined by the finance minister.

These regulations titled the Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases (Medical Attendance and Maintenance of Person Removed to Quarantine Station) (No. 2) Regulations 2020 were made on August 19 by Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Adham Baba.

The regulations are stated as being deemed effective on July 24, which is almost a month ago.

The new regulations replace an earlier set of regulations which had only limited payment exemptions to disability card holders.

What happens if you have to pay, but don’t

In the same regulations, anyone who returns from overseas and is directed to undergo quarantine at a quarantine station is required to pay for any cost and expenses incurred for his medical attendance and maintenance at the quarantine station to the Health Ministry’s secretary-general.

Failure to pay for the quarantine fees is an offence that is punishable upon conviction by a maximum RM1,000 fine or a maximum six-month jail term or both, the regulations state.

Such costs and expenses for the quarantine can be recovered as a civil debt due to the government.

You are not in the exempted list, but

For those who have returned to Malaysia from abroad but are not in the list exempted from quarantine fee payments, they may still apply to the health minister for “non-payment” of such costs, the new regulations state.

For a Malaysian returnee who takes a Covid-19 test within 14 days of being told to undergo quarantine but with test results not available after the 14th day, the new regulations state that such a person will not have to pay for quarantine fees for the 15th day until the test result is available if this person is directed to remain under quarantine for more than 14 days.

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