Malaysia will reopen its borders to vaccinated international visitors by at least the beginning of next year, making it the latest Southeast Asian country to plan to welcome tourists again.
The reopening will come by January 1 at the latest, a government advisory council said on Thursday, according to Reuters. A firm date for reopening wasn’t immediately clear.
Regulations for the Phased Reopening
However, later this week, the country will also begin a pilot program allowing fully vaccinated international tourists to visit Langkawi, a breathtakingly beautiful island off the coast of Malaysia. Travellers will be required to stay at least three days and must show proof of a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken within 72 hours of their departure, but won’t be subject to quarantine restrictions, according to Tourism Malaysia.
Travellers will also have to obtain insurance worth at least USD 80,000 (INR 59,51,800) and undergo testing on arrival. Those who arrive via Kuala Lumpur will undergo rapid molecular testing, while those who go directly to Langkawi must take a PCR test on the second day after arrival. Travellers who stay for more than five days will have to take another PCR test on day five.
Currently, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention classifies Malaysia under its highest “Level 4” travel advisory, warning Americans to “avoid” travelling there. Countries are classified under “Level 4” if there are at least 500 COVID-19 cases per 1,00,000 people.
Tourism Malaysia, however, said the plans to open to visitors come as more than 73 percent of the country’s population has been vaccinated as of October 25. It also comes amid plans to reopen a vaccinated travel corridor with neighbouring Singapore on November 29, Reuters noted.
For its part, Singapore started welcoming vaccinated tourists from several countries last month, including the USA, requiring them to enter as part of the “Vaccinated Travel Lanes” [VTL] program.
On November 1, fellow Southeast Asian country Thailand also lifted all quarantine restrictions for vaccinated American travellers after implementing its own pilot travel program in Phuket and Ko Samui.
Source: Travel and Leisure India