The number of motorists turned away at police checkpoints in attempts to travel back to their hometowns on Saturday doubled from Friday’s total, said defence minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob. 1,248 vehicles were turned away on Saturday compared to 508 on Friday, the New Straits Times reported.

“Despite warnings, there are still people attempting to go back to their hometowns by giving all kinds of excuses. Once the police start issuing the RM1,000 compounds, the flouters will be on the losing end,” he said. “Be patient. If we obey the SOPs and the Covid-19 trend decreases, (God willing) the CMCO will be lifted and we will be free to go back to our hometowns,” the minister said.

Prime ministry Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin announced on May 10 that the conditional movement control order (CMCO) has been extended until June 9, and inter-state travel remains banned since March 18, with exceptions allowed from May 7 until May 10, and strictly for individuals stranded in others states following to implementation of the MCO.

As of Sunday, about 14% or 971 out of the total number of Covid-19 cases have a history of inter-state travel, said health director-general Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah as quoted by The Star. “About 18 clusters from a total of 48 clusters recorded in the country are linked to activities which involve crossing state borders. Ten of these clusters are still active,” he said.

“The public must be aware during the festive season because it may cause the spread of Covid-19 infections, especially in green zones. We look at the experience of other countries, such as Iran. When they have a festival, many returned to their hometowns, and the number of infections spiked, the DG of health said.