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Malaysia Planning To Reopen Borders For Tourism In December

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Malaysia, a nation that has completely closed to the world since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, is planning to reopen its borders in December 2021 to international tourists. 

The Southeast Asian nation is looking to reopen its borders in December once the adult vaccination rate has reached 90 percent.

Kuala Lumpur Skyline

The Prime Minister said in an interview with the local media that December is a good time to reopen once the vaccination rate reaches 90 percent, but it’s too early to confirm just yet. 

The Prime Minister suggested he would reopen the state borders first before reopening the international border to foreign visitors.

Young Caucasian woman in the swimming pool with view of Kuala Lumpur

Malaysia had already reopened its stunning island of Langkawi to domestic tourists last month. Domestic travelers will need to be fully vaccinated to travel to the island. 

Travelers will also need to provide evidence of a negative PCR test or antigen test within 48 hours of departure, and travelers must provide evidence of the negative PCR test at the airline counter. 

Langkawi island

Malaysia’s Current Vaccination Rollout 

The Malaysian government has declared that it will reopen the international border once the vaccination rate reaches 90 percent of the adult population.

Currently, the nation’s vaccination rate stands at 69.1 percent, and the adult vaccination rate has reached 87.2 percent (just 2.7 percent short of the border reopening target.) Over 94 percent of adults in Malaysia have received their first vaccination dose. 

So far, Malaysia has administered 44,145,505 vaccination doses. At the current fast vaccination rate — which is up there with the fastest in Asia — it will take another 22 days to vaccinate another ten percent of the entire population.

However, Malaysia should reach the 90 percent adult vaccination target in the coming weeks if not days.

COVID-19 In Malaysia

The fast vaccination rate has meant Malaysia has gradually started to open up and allow fully vaccinated people to move around again. Furthermore, the government meeting its vaccination target means the country is set to fully reopen all economic and social activities before the year ends. 

The COVID-19 Situation In Malaysia 

Malaysia had a successful 2020 in terms of battling COVID-19. For the first 6 months, the nation kept cases down to double-digits. However, like most nations, the Delta variant hit the country hard, and cases began to hit a 7-day average of 22,000 in August. 

Cases are currently declining in Malaysia. The current 7-day average stands at 11,910, almost half of the number of cases 6 weeks ago. 

Batu Caves in Gombak, Selangor, Malaysia.

Southeast Asia’s Reopening 

Southeast Asia has been almost totally closed since the pandemic began. However, after a brutal 18 months, this part of the world is finally showing signs of reopening for tourism again. Here are some examples:


Thailand, a nation with a huge travel and tourism sector, has been planning its reopening for the past six months. The reopening has already partially started with various Sandbox schemes.

Thailand declared that it’s now shortening the quarantine period in the Sandbox destinations down to 7 days instead of 14 for fully vaccinated tourists. 

Koh Samui Beach


Vietnam has been closed for the entire pandemic. However, the country is planning to reopen its borders in 2021. The government proposed a Phu Quoc reopening to fully vaccinated international tourists.

But the government has decided to push Phu Quoc’s reopening date until the end of 2021 due to slow vaccination rates. 

Phu Quoc Beaches


Singapore has been planning to reopen its borders for months now. However, high cases of COVID-19 — despite the high vaccination rate — have prevented the country from fully reopening. That said, Singapore is still planning to reopen to fully vaccinated visitors in 2021. 


Bali, Indonesia’s extremely popular island, is reopening this month to fully vaccinated U.S and U.K travelers after 18 months of almost complete closure. 

It looks like many parts of Southeast Asia should be fully reopened in early 2022 — if not late 2021 — after a painful two years of closure.

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