While interstate travel is still not permitted during the 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. The window is from May 7-10, and a travel schedule has been released to ensure smooth flow.

Permission from the police is needed to cross state borders in this window, either via the Gerak Malaysia app or a hard copy permission letter from a police station. Of course, there will be enforcement, and according to Bernama, PDRM has set up seven control posts along several major highways to conduct random inspections during this four-day period.

“The seven selected control posts comprise two in the northern zone, one in the southern zone, two in the eastern zone and two in the central zone. People are advised to adhere to the set schedules to prevent traffic congestion,” Bukit Aman traffic investigations and enforcement department principal assistant director Supt Bakri Zainal Abidin said.

He added that based on data obtained through the Gerak Malaysia app, some 13,000 vehicles were estimated to be travelling interstate yesterday.

“The surveillance conducted today found there were less than the expected number of vehicles on major highways heading in three directions, namely east, south and north. We will continue to monitor the situation from time to time to ensure the traffic flow remains smooth,” he said.

Bakri said aerial surveillance also found that the public was complying with the regulations while stopping at highway R&R areas. “Only a few vehicles were seen stopping in the R&R areas and they were adhering to all the directives,” he said.

On May 6, Bukit Aman CID director Datuk Huzir Mohamed said that 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.

Perhaps yesterday was a slow start for the interstate travel window because it was dedicated to those starting from KL, and most of the stranded folks are in their kampungs wanting to return to the capital. Today is for those 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.

Remember, this interstate travel window is only for those stranded away from home. The authorities have reminded motorists to adhere to Covid-19 preventive measures such as social distancing, wearing a face mask and observing good hygiene. If you’re planning to hit the road, take note of the following:

  • Restaurants and food stalls at all R&Rs will remain closed.
  • The surau at all rest stops will also be closed.
  • Only public toilets will remain open.
  • Motorists will be allowed to rest inside their vehicles at parking areas, but cannot step out of the vehicle unless going to the toilet.
  • No group prayers will be allowed at R&Rs facilities or in open or parking areas along the expressway.
  • Any group activity is prohibited.
  • Petrol stations along the route will be operational from 6am to 12am.