Interstate travel can only be considered perhaps towards end of the year

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The government might be able to consider lifting the interstate travel ban in the third or fourth quarter of the year, when a sizeable percentage of the population has been vaccinated.

Farizul Hafiz Awang/NST

Science, Technology and Innovation Minister Khairy Jamaluddin said the Covid-19 Vaccine Supplies Access Guarantee Special Committee (JKAV) had yet to discuss the matter.

He was responding to a question on when those who have completed their vaccinations are allowed to travel.

The question was first directed to Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Adham Baba who said that for now, there would be no interstate travel allowed as per the National Security Council’s ruling that is effective until May 17, pending a review.

“This (no interstate travel) should be retained until we achieve 80 percent herd immunity,” he added.

On the announcement by the United States’ Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that a person who has been vaccinated in the US can remove their mask when they are in public or outdoors if the area is not crowded, Khairy said the advisory did not apply to Malaysia.

“That is because US has vaccinated 40 percent of their population.”

“We have to be careful when evaluating the data, we will need to look not just at vaccination rates because vaccines are not 100 percent effective in curbing transmission.”

He said that the Health Ministry would review the data before briefing the Covid-19 Vaccine Supplies Access Guarantee Special Committee or make any recommendations to the National Security Council with regard to face masks and other concessions during the pandemic. – NST