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COVID-19 Health Alert – U.S. Embassy Kuala Lumpur (April 1, 2020)
April 1, 2020

Health AlertNote: You will receive an updated version of this alert each day until further notice.

Health Alert –  U.S. Embassy Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Location:  Malaysia

Event:  COVID-19

As of March 31, 2020, the Malaysian Ministry of Health has confirmed 2,766 cases of COVID-19 in the country. Among these, 43 individuals have died, 94 are in the ICU, and 537 have fully recovered. For more information regarding COVID-statistics in Malaysia, please review the Malaysian Ministry of Health’s COVID-19 Portal and visit our Embassy webpage on COVID-19.

The Department of State advises U.S. citizens to avoid all international travel due to the global impact of COVID-19.  In countries where commercial departure options remain available, U.S. citizens who live in the United States should arrange for immediate return to the United States, unless they are prepared to remain abroad for an indefinite period.  U.S. citizens who live abroad should avoid all international travel.

In a March 31 statement, Secretary of State Pompeo urged U.S. citizens abroad to consider returning home immediately, while commercial options continue to operate:

“Never in the department’s 230-year history have we led a worldwide evacuation of such enormous complexity and such geographic scale.  We have no higher duty to the American people than to pull this off…

At the same time, I want to deliver a message to Americans who are still abroad.  We remain steadfast and committed to getting you all back.  We do not know in some countries how long the continued commercial flights in your country may continue to operate.  We can’t guarantee the U.S. Government’s ability to arrange chartered flights indefinitely where commercial options no longer exist.  I urge Americans to register with their nearest embassy at step.state.gov and work your way back here.  Americans abroad who wish to return home should do so immediately and make arrangements to accomplish that.”

The Malaysian government extended the Movement Control Order through April 14, though this end date may be extended again at the discretion of the Malaysian government.  All foreign nationals, with very limited exceptions, are restricted from entry or transit through Malaysia during this time.  The MCO prohibits all individuals – Malaysian citizens and foreign nationals – from movement and mass assembly within Malaysia.  Under the MCO, only one person from each family is permitted to leave home to buy essential items. Outdoor recreational activities such as jogging or walking are prohibited. U.S. citizens are subject to local laws and regulations while visiting or living in Malaysia.

As of 5:00 pm on April 1, 2020, very limited commercial flights remain an option for U.S. citizens wishing to depart Malaysia. Many airlines have cancelled international flights and several transit countries have set up new quarantine restrictions or have barred international transit altogether.  The Embassy is aware of commercial flights from Kuala Lumpur to the U.S. through Japan, Doha and London.  Please note that flight schedules are likely to change with little advance notice and commercial flight options will likely become increasingly limited over the coming days.  

Please see below for outbound flights from Kuala Lumpur to major transit hubs with onward flights to U.S. cities.

Outbound  Carrier Weekly Frequencies (flights)
From To Date (M) Date (T) Date (W) Date (Th) Date (F) Date (Sa) Date (Su) Total Notes
Kuala Lumpur (KUL) Tokyo (NRT) Japan Airlines (JAL) 0 1 0 1 0 1 0 3 Full until April 16
Kuala Lumpur (KUL) Tokyo ANA (ANA) 0 0 1 0 1 0 1 3 Full until April 10
Kuala Lumpur (KUL) London Heathrow (LHR) Malaysia Airlines (MH) 1 2 1 1 1 1 1 8
Kuala Lumpur (KUL) Doha (DOH) Qatar Airways 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 7

The U.S. Embassy is unable to book airline tickets on your behalf.  Please continue to reach out to airlines and utilize commercial websites to book or change your tickets while these flights are an option.  We encourage you to look at all flight options flying into the United States, regardless of whether the flight is going to your final destination; it may be necessary to book a second ticket onward. We will post any alerts and updates on the COVID-19 situation in Malaysia on our Embassy’s webpage on COVID-19.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued a Level 3 – Avoid Non-Essential Travel – Notice for Malaysia.  The State Department has issued a Global Level 4 Health Advisory – Do Not Travel.

Countries around the world are experiencing COVID-19 outbreaks and implementing travel restrictions and mandatory quarantines, closing borders, and prohibiting non-citizens from entry with little advance notice.  Any U.S. citizen returning home should be prepared for additional travel restrictions to be put into effect with little or no advance notice.  Travelers should closely monitor the situation in Malaysia and other transit countries before travel.

Actions to Take: