Here are some very important updates for those who are getting ready for interstate travel from May 7-10.

To recap, while interstate travel is still not permitted during the current relaxed conditional movement control order (CMCO) period, the government has opened a window of interstate travel opportunity specifically for those who have been stranded away from home, after fleeing the cities before the MCO started. However, it won’t be a free for all, and police permission is needed.

Earlier, PDRM released an interstate travel schedule for the different days – May 7 if you’re moving from KL; May 8 if you’re moving from Perak, Johor and Kelantan; May 9 if you’re moving from Perlis, Kedah, Pulau Pinang, Melaka and Pahang; and May 10 if you’re heading out from Selangor, Negeri Sembilan and Terengganu. These are not the destination states, but your start point.

This afternoon, Bukit Aman CID director Datuk Huzir Mohamed held a press conference at the police HQ and gave some updates on the travel procedure. All travellers must have permission from the police, either via the Gerak Malaysia mobile app or a physical copy from a police station.

As of May 5, the Gerak Malaysia app has been downloaded 1,407,143 times, and there has been 503,276 applications for interstate travel. Of that total, 143,516 have updated details and have been given the green light. As for manual applications, police stations have issued 13,069 permission letters.

Huzir urged all who intend to travel interstate to update the app to Version 2.5, which is available now for iOS and Android. One will also have to update his address or origin and address of destination, in order to generate a QR code. This QR code is vital, because it’s proof of PDRM’s permission for you to travel.

According to the CID chief, the move to make the QR code a must is because from the total number of applications on the app, 70.5% did not update details. There might be two reasons for this, he said. One is that people think an application is all that’s needed to travel, without the green light from the police. Two is that people are leaving it to the last minute, which he says is the more likely scenario.

By mandating a QR code, it also ensures that no one takes advantage of the travel window to sneak through, as interstate travel is still banned in the CMCO period. Huzir emphasised that this four-day window is only for those who are stranded to return home.

Also, the use of QR codes will save time at roadblocks that will be set up – the police officers will just scan the QR code for the traveller’s details. Yes, there will be roadblocks. Alternatively, show your hard copy permission letter obtained from the police station.

Last, but certainly not least, is that by having complete details of the travellers (origin, destination), the government and the health ministry can track down individuals and their close contacts in a shorter time, should anyone have Covid-19.