Malaysia Edges Closer To Fully Reopening
Malaysia—one of the last Asian nations that’s yet to reopen its borders—is preparing to reopen its borders in March. Malaysia’s coronavirus recovery panel has recommended a full reopening of its borders as early as March 1 without mandatory quarantine for travelers.
The reopening is part of a plan to speed up the nation’s economic recovery. Since March 2020, Malaysia has closed its borders for most reasons—including tourism. The news comes as Thailand, The Philippines, and Singapore waive quarantine requirements for fully vaccinated tourists.
Malaysia’s New Entry Requirements
Although the Malaysian government is yet to release a reopening date, reports suggest travelers will have to undergo screening before departure and on arrival.
Muhyiddin Yassin, a former chairperson of Malaysia’s National Recovery Council (NRC), said: “This means tourists can visit, investors can enter… It means AirAsia (AIRA.KL) can fly again, as an example,”
Malaysia reopened a Langkawi travel bubble last year, but entry requirements were strict. As a result, very few travelers bothered to visit Malaysia in 2021.
The Current COVID-19 Situation In Malaysia
Malaysia has recorded record cases of COVID-19 in recent weeks. The current 7-day case average is 10,610. However, with that said, Malaysia has fully vaccinated 98% of its entire adult population; this is one of the highest vaccine take-ups in the world.
Currently, Malaysia has internal restrictions in place. A movement control order, whereby people can’t freely move around Malaysia, is currently in place.
However, some states have reduced restrictions as they move into the National COVID Recovery Plan.
Travelers must wear a face mask in airports and public transport. There is a social distancing mandate of 1 meter. To enter many facilities, they’ll take a test of your temperature before you enter; this includes shops, cinemas, tourist destinations, and cinemas.
What About Other Asian Nations?
It’s great to hear that Malaysia is planning to reopen its borders in March; however, what about other Asian nations?
Asia has typically pursued a strict zero-COVID policy at all costs throughout the continent.
But as many countries outside Asia learn to live with COVID-19—Asia is now opening for tourism.
Here are some travel options in 2022:
Vietnam is reopening for tourism by April 2021. The nation pursued an extremely stringent zero-COVID policy throughout 2020 and 2021. Still, the nation will reopen will the following requirements:
- Show proof of full vaccination—at least 14 days before entry—or Proof of recovery from Covid-19 within the previous 6 months
- Travelers must take a negative PCR test result at least 72 hours before departure
- Travel medical insurance with coverage of at least USD 50,000
- Separate requirements will apply for partially vaccinated individuals and children (news to follow)
Thailand has restarted its Test & Go system. It allows travelers to skip quarantine requirements and enjoy Thailand if they meet the following requirements:
- Travelers need a scanned copy of their passport and visa
- Proof of fully vaccinated status, such as a vaccination certificate or proof of recovery
- Travel insurance with coverage worth USD 50,000
- Confirmation of fully paid SHA Extra+/AQ hotel reservations (Day 1 and Day 5 with RT-PCR tests and airport transfer). The hotel for Day 1 must be within five hours of the traveler’s port of arrival, and the second hotel can be anywhere in the country.
After two years of closure, The Philippines is reopening its borders to international visitors. Here are the new entry requirements:
- Travelers—regardless of their vaccination status—need evidence of a negative PCR test taken no more than 48 hours before departure.
- Fully vaccinated travelers won’t need to undergo any quarantine measures
- Children under 18 don’t need proof of vaccination.
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Disclaimer: Current travel rules and restrictions can change without notice. The decision to travel is ultimately your responsibility. Contact your consulate and/or local authorities to confirm your nationality’s entry and/or any changes to travel requirements before traveling. Travel Off Path does not endorse traveling against government advisories