Malaysia will fully reopen its borders on April 1, joining neighbouring countries like Thailand and the Philippines in receiving international tourists, after having shut it for about two years due to Covid-19.
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob who announced this today said the decision was made following careful deliberation in various health and safety aspects, which include the progress of national vaccination programme and the country’s economy and the outcome of risk management measures implemented by the authorities.
“Travellers who have received two doses of Covid-19 vaccine are no longer required to undergo quarantine. They are only required to be tested two days prior to travel and within 24 hours upon arrival in Malaysia,” he said.
He said international travellers will no longer be required to apply for MyTravelPass which would be abolished.
“The health minister will announce further details tomorrow, with the standard operating procedures that would also be revealed soon,” he said in a press conference in Parliament today.
For countries that have yet to fully reopen their borders, travel arrangements through Vaccinated Travel Lane (VTL) would be implemented, he said.
Ismail Sabri had earlier announced that Malaysia would transition into the endemic phase from April 1.
“An official announcement on the country commencing the endemic phase date, however, will depend on WHO (World Health Organisation).
“Under the transitional phase, we are still required to wear face masks in public places, with restrictions on operating hours lifted, according to business licenses.”
Meanwhile, existing SOP, including MySejahtera app check-in at premises, would still be enforced, he said.
Malaysia, which is one of the countries with the most vaccinated population, has begun implementing the VTL with Singapore, Thailand and Cambodia as part of efforts to boost the hospitality and economic sectors.
Thailand and the Philippines have allowed foreign tourists to return starting last month in a bid to create opportunities for tourism players to recoup their losses due the pandemic. – NST