Malaysia's borders are still shut for general tourism, but has been allowing certain types of medical tourists in since July, and now since September, certain long-term pass holders.
Malaysia is still under a government ordered MCO (Movement Control Order) since March which restricts all tourism in the country, including any visitors wanting to gain entry. General tourism at the moment is not possible in Malaysia, but some recent updates are now making exceptions for certain type of tourists.
Malaysia has had their borders closed to international tourism since March, and the current border closure has recently been extended until December 31st, but there are now a few ways that select tourists can enter.
See important, October “My Travel Pass” and September 11th “Long Term Pass Holder” Updates below – (in red) ↓
Similar to what Thailand has also set into motion, Malaysia is now allowing medical tourists to enter the country, as of July 1. It’s a great way to slowly restart a portion of the tourism sector, and at the same time allow tourists in that will be directly investing into the country.
Medical Tourism Exception Rules for Malaysia
- Foreign visitors arriving in the country for medical tourism purposes must go through the Health Ministry and register with the Malaysia Healthcare Travel Council (MHTC).
- The MySejahtera app must be downloaded
- Medical tourists must undergo a Covid-19 PCR test in their home country prior to their arrival in Malaysia. They will be tested again upon arrival into Malaysia.
- Quarantine will come into effect, and the visitor would be expected to check directly into the hospital or clinic for their treatment.
- Medical tourists can bring one guardian to accompany them, but the guardian must also follow all the above requirements including testing, app download, etc.
Which countries can currently visit for medical tourism?
The government has agreed to allow patients from designated green zone countries to enter Malaysia for treatment. As of July 21, the current green zone countries are:
- South Korea
- New Zealand
Other than Medical Tourists, are there any other exceptions for entry into Malaysia?
Yes. Malaysia is making some other exceptions for foreigners to enter as of July, but they are strict. They include: Expatriates holding high management positions with Employment Pass category 1 (EP1), Professional Visit Pass and Resident Talent Pass, foreign spouses with long-term dependency pass, etc.
When will Malaysia Reopen for General Tourism?
The current border closures for general arrivals have been extended to December 31, 2020.
Note: We are monitoring the situation and will update this article when we know Malaysia’s official reopening date.
What about the border with Singapore?
Malaysia and Singapore will begin reopening the borders between the two countries from August 17, 2020 for selected travelers under the Reciprocal Green Lane (RGL).
- The RGL scheme will permit short-term travel of up to 14 days for essential and official business. The PCA scheme will enable cross-border travel for those that have valid work visas.
- Strict health protocols, such as COVID-19 testing and self-quarantine measures will apply to all travelers.
Before the onset of COVID-19, the Malaysia-Singapore border was one of the busiest in the world, with more than 300,000 daily travelers crossing via land and more than 29,000 flights annually.
“We also eager to know that our low-cost airline, AirAsia is gearing up for the resumption of flights between Malaysia and Singapore as both governments have decided to open up cross-border travel for essential business and official purposes through Reciprocal Green Lane (RGL) scheme by this month.
For a start, AirAsia is expected to launch daily flights between Kuala Lumpur and Singapore and one weekly flight each between Singapore and Penang, Kota Kinabalu, Kuching and Ipoh. These flights are scheduled for the week of August 17, subject to further announcements by the governments.
Meanwhile, Malindo Air will also resume its international flights from Kuala Lumpur to Singapore effective August 19 with a single daily flight in order to cater to the demands of passengers and thus to boost the economy under the RGL and Periodic Commuting Arrangement (PCA) schemes.
PCA will allow the two countries’ citizens who hold long-term immigration passes (for business and work purpose) to return home for short-term leave.”
September 11 Update: Long Term Pass Holders
As of September 11, long-term pass holders can now apply for entry into Malaysia, even from high-risk nations like the USA and Indonesia.
This includes: Professional visit pass holders, permanent residents, spouses of Malaysian citizens and student pass holders, etc.
Long-term pass holders need to submit applications through the Malaysian Immigration Department before they are allowed entry into the country.
October Update: My Travel Pass online approval system
The government of Malaysia has just launched an easy online application system called ‘My Travel Pass’ for foreigners looking to enter the country.
Malaysia’s My Travel Pass system will allow the following categories of travelers to apply online:
- Reciprocal Green Lane Travellers
- Periodical Commuting Arrangement Travellers
- Spouses and Children of Malaysian Residents/Citizens
- Foreigner Social Visits / PR Residents
- Foreign Workers
- Expatriates and Property Owners
- Malaysian Citizens Returning Home
We have a detailed guide that explains the definition of each type of traveler, and how hopeful visitors can use the new online My Travel Pass system HERE
Is Domestic tourism reopen in Malaysia?
Yes. Hotels to theme parks to restaurants have been reopening in Malaysia for domestic tourism.
Disclaimer: Malaysia’s reopening news is ever-changing and being updated constantly. We do our best to keep this article up to date with all the latest information, but 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.
Article originally published July 22, 2020