The operating hours of the Immigration Department and related agencies in Bangunan Sultan Iskandar at the Johor Causeway will be reduced to 7 am to 7 pm starting this Friday (April 24), said Senior Minister (Security Cluster) Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob.

However, he said Malaysians and Singaporeans can continue to use the Sultan Abu Bakar Complex at the Second Link which operates 24 hours as usual.

“If there is an emergency, Malaysians could still return using the Second Link when the causeway is closed,” said Ismail Sabri who is also the Defence Minister.

“Commercial vehicles can also move as usual at the Second Link,” he said at the Movement Control Order (MCO) media conference here today.

Meanwhile, Ismail Sabri said based on reports of the Immigration Department, there were no massive return of Malaysians from Singapore and the average number of people using the causeway in the past four days was 400 a day.

“In fact the Johor Bahru quarantine centre estimated only about 350 people are allowed to return and as such as we are able to cope,” he said, adding that the government is providing 6,000 rooms for compulsory quarantine at 22 quarantine centres in Johor Bahru and its surrounding areas.

However, he said the National Disaster Management Agency (NADMA) ordered another 4,000 rooms, thus giving an overall of 10,000 quarantine rooms in Johor Bahru and nearby towns, should more Malaysians decide to return.

As at today, Ismail Sabri said there are 193 quarantine centres in operation in the country with 16,844 individuals undergoing mandatory quarantine.

He said 14,937 Malaysians who returned from abroad have been undergoing compulsory quarantine since April 3 and 2,317 individuals had completed their isolation and were allowed to return home.