Interstate Travel SOP

After 6 months of strict movement control order due to the third wave of COVID-19 caused by Sabah’s election, we’ve successfully flattened the curve. Starting 5 March 2021, swab test and mandatory quarantine are no longer required when exiting Sabah. So I decided that it was cost and time efficient to travel from Kota Kinabalu (KK) to Kuala Lumpur (KL) for work.

Sabah is currently under RMCO/PKPP (Recovery), while KL is under CMCO/PKPB (Conditional). Here are the documents needed to travel between these two states:

i. Swab test result (must be negative)
To West Malaysia: Swab test is not required
To Sarawak: RT-PCR 3 days prior to departure
To Labuan: RT-PCR/RT-Ag 3 days prior to departure

ii. Approved movement permit form by PDRM
*Prepare 2 copies during submission. One will be kept by police, one is for applicant.

iii. Stamped work release letter by employer (sample)

iv. Flight ticket
Travel itinerary with booking number is good enough. You can check-in later after receiving PDRM’s approval. Do purchase flight insurance in case application is rejected.

Before heading to PDRM, do these first:

1. Download permit form:
PKP Movement Permit Form 
PKPB Movement Permit Form
*No forms for PKPP yet, use PKPB for now

2. Complete the form in two copies

3. Contact police station to make an appointment

The PDRM application process was very smooth for me, officers were efficient and kind.

1. Went to the police station in the morning (9am) to avoid long queues.
2. Scanned MySejahtera and scanned temperature at the gate.
3. Officer asked if I’d completed the movement permit form and brought supporting documents before allowing me to enter.
4. He gave me a visitor form to be signed by the officer who attended to my application, and requested me to return that form when exiting.
5. Head over to the relevant department.
6. Scanned MySejahtera and scanned temperature.
7. Took a queue ticket for interstate travel application. Though there wasn’t much of a queue.
8. Filled in the visitor form, while an officer at the counter checked my documents.
8. Entered the office when it was my turn, and submitted the movement permit form.
9. Officer asked a couple of questions while filling in the form (both copies), and asked for supporting documents along the way. Most documents weren’t needed but good to prepare. 
10. Application was approved. I was given one copy, and they kept the other one.
11. Visitor form was signed, and returned at the gate.
12. As I was walking out, more applicants entered.
13. The whole process took less than half an hour.

*Basically you just need to prove that you’ve a valid reason to travel.

*Flight schedules change quite often, monitor your flight status closely.
*It’s recommended to arrive 2-3 hours earlier at the airport, because there are more things to be checked. Plus, self check-in luggage system and the kiosk for boarding pass and luggage tag may not work.
*Make sure you’ve easy access to the movement permit form and supporting documents. Check-in counter staff and immigration officer will request for them.

Entering KL was pretty smooth for me, I took that for granted when leaving KL.

I was too focused on entering Sabah, and forgot to apply for PDRM’s approval in KL for interstate travel. Fortunately I arrived at KLIA2 early, and there’s a police station at level 2, on the right hand side after the domestic baggage claim area, where you can apply for the movement permit.

If you’re planning to leave and return to Sabah, you may want to prepare documents listed in no. 2 before exiting Sabah.

1. Swab test (must be negative): RT-PCR/RT-Ag 3 days prior to departure
Click here for most affordable test in KL

2. Who needs what to enter Sabah:

(A) Sabahan: I/C

(B) Non-Sabahan:
i. Spouse/dependent to Sabahan: Valid immigration pass, and proof of marriage / birth certificate of dependent
ii. Work: Supporting document from employer, and valid employment pass / section stamp
iii. Meetings & official business: Proof of invitation

(C) Non-Malaysian: Valid employment pass, and immigration pass issued in Sabah

3. Health declaration & risk assessment form
On the flight back to KK, we were asked to fill in this form at the boarding gate. Do so before boarding the flight, so that you can save time, and proceed to Sabah’s immigration straight away after landing.

4. Upon landing in KKIA, we went through the same process (thermal scan – fill in health declaration & risk assessment form – interview – immigration) in July 2020, as shown in this video (skip to 1:24):

*No social visits to Sabah
*RMCO/PKPP Sabah SOP from MKN (updated 26 Mar 2021)
*CMCO/PKPB General SOP from MKN (updated 19 Mar 2021)

Gentle reminder/tips:

1. Covid-19 is still here.
2. Observe SOP, avoid 3Cs, practice 3Ws at all times,
3. Though swab test and self-quarantine aren’t mandatory from Sabah to KL, most people in KL aren’t aware of it. If you’re able to do so as extra precaution, people will feel safer around you.
4. If supporting documents aren’t sufficient, Sabah’s immigration may deny entry, even though one has passed KL’s immigration and arrived in Sabah. I was told that those who denied entry stayed overnight at the airport and were requested to return to KL the following day.
5. Tourism activity is only allowed with registered tour company within RMCO/PKPP. (Please help revive our tourism industry #sapotlokal).
6. Bear in mind the purpose and risk of travelling. Think of your loved ones.
7. It’s not time for holidays yet, but the time will come sooner if we all play our part in flattening the curve.

If you’re curious how air travel was like, I’ve shared my experience in July 2020 here: Flying during a Pandemic. The only difference on my most recent trip was there were no swab test stations at the airport.

Do share this post with your friends and family if you find it helpful.

Please feel free to share with me in the comments, your travel experience/tips during the pandemic as well!

Safe travels!