Malaysia Finally Reopens After 2 Years
Malaysia is reopening its borders for tourism on April 1 for the first time in over two years as the country reaches the endemic stage of COVID-19.
Malaysia is one of the few remaining nations worldwide to not reopen its borders for tourism. Many Southeast Asia neighbors—including Thailand and the Philippines—have already reopened for travel.
Speaking at a press conference, Malaysia’s Prime Minister—Ismail Sabri Yaakob—said travelers would only need to have valid travel documents to enter and exit the country.
He said: “Taking into account the Omicron variant, which is still in our country and other countries, there are some mandatory steps for both Malaysians and travelers.”
The New Entry Requirements
From April 1, fully vaccinated travelers no longer need to quarantine upon arrival in Malaysia.
Fully vaccinated travelers only need to undergo a COVID-19 Real Time-Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR) test two days before departure and a professional COVID-19 Rapid Test Kit-Antigen (RTK-Ag) test within 24 hours after arrival in Malaysia.
However, for unvaccinated travelers, the Prime Minister said: “For those who are not fully vaccinated, or unable to receive the vaccine due to health reasons, the health minister will detail further Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) on this tomorrow.”
We will update you on unvaccinated travel restrictions once they release them.
The Malaysia Prime Minister added foreign travelers would no longer need to apply via the MyTravelPass mechanism. He said they only needed to download the MySejahtera contact tracing application.
For nations that haven’t fully reopened their borders, such as Indonesia and Singapore, travelers can still use the vaccinated travel lanes created last year.
The news will delight many Malaysians and travelers worldwide. Last month, Malaysia’s National Recovery Council (NRC) recommended that the government reopen the border.
However, what about internal restrictions within Malaysia?
Malaysia’s Internal COVID-19 Restrictions
Although Malaysia is finally reopening its borders, the nation—unlike various European and South/Central American countries—hasn’t ended all restrictions:
- All travelers must observe 1-meter social distancing measures.
- All travelers must wear masks in public places; this includes shops, tourist destinations, and cinemas.
- Local authorities may request temperature checks to enter many facilities.
- Travelers must carry their passports with them at all times. We recommend having a waterproof passport cover to prevent damage, such as getting wet during Malaysia’s wild tropical rainstorms.
However, Malaysia is scrapping some restrictions as they welcome back travelers:
- The current 50% capacity limit at weddings and other large gatherings will no longer apply.
- All travelers can eat at restaurants after midnight, including in the month of Ramadan
- All businesses within Malaysia can operate without permits
The COVID-19 Situation In Malaysia
COVID-19 cases are at an all-time high in Malaysia. The current 7-day case average is 29,532; however, Malaysia has one of the world’s highest vaccination rates. Currently, Malaysia has fully vaccinated 79% of the population.
Malaysia has been super hesitant to reopen its border. They did, however, reopen Langkawi to travelers last year. However, strict travel restrictions remained, and most travelers—especially Western travelers—didn't bother.
Southeast Asia has been closed to the world for almost two years. Thailand was the only nation, because of its reliance on its large tourism industry, that reopened in 2020.
Malaysia is one of the few Asian nations yet to reopen—but that changes in three weeks.
Now we wait for the full reopening of Indonesia, Taiwan, and Japan.
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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com
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