The government says that IPTA (public university) and IPTS (private university) students stranded in campuses will be able to begin making the journey home from next Monday (April 27), but this will only be for those whose family homes are located in green zones.
The movement will also be done in stages due to the high number of students involved, said senior minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob. He added that the permitted travelling period will only be from 9pm to 9am to ensure a controlled journey and to avoid mass movement with the movement control order (MCO) in effect, The Star reports.
In terms of travel arrangements, students who have their own vehicles are allowed to drive on their own, but only if they are going home within the same state, because no interstate travel will be allowed if they are driving.
“If a person studies in Selangor and wants to return to their home in the same state, then they can get permission from the police as well as their campuses and drive on their own. They are not allowed to bring other people with them. They must drive home on their own,” he said in his daily press briefing earlier today.
Those wanting to make the journey back to another state will have to do so in buses specially organised by the government. Students will have to undergo screening for symptoms before boarding the buses, and will be provided with food and face masks.
Ismail Sabri said that the buses will carry half their available capacity to ensure social distancing rules are complied with. “This means that if the bus can accommodate 40 people, there will only be 20 on it,” he explained.
He added that upon arrival at their destination, these students will be taken to their respective district police station or the district office nearest their houses, and will then be sent home by frontliners from various government agencies.
As for students from Sabah and Sarawak, they will be flown to the nearest airport, following which they must then undergo a compulsory 14-day quarantine as imposed by their state governments, unless the standard operating procedure (SOP) there is changed.
According to Ismail Sabri, around 85% of those in higher learning institutions, or around 53,000 students, have signaled their intention to go home, while the remaining 15% have said they wanted to stay back. “The students who choose to stay back will be taken care of, and the government will continue to provide them with food,” he said.
He also revealed the daily enforcement statistics during his briefing, and said that yesterday (April 24), the police arrested 550 individuals for MCO-related offences, a drop from the 763 the day before. Of these, 480 were remanded while 70 were allowed to post bail.
A total of 1,014 people were charged in court yesterday, and the total cumulative arrests for MCO violations since the order began now stood at 19,048. The police carried out 827 roadblocks across the country, and inspected 627,494 vehicles. The increase in traffic volume was attributed to many going out to shop for necessities and groceries at the start of Ramadan.