Malaysia’s National Recovery Council announced on Thursday that the country will reopen its borders to international travelers by January 1st at the latest in an effort to revive the economy.
According to the World Travel & Tourism Council, travel and tourism accounted for 15% of jobs in Malaysia in 2019.
Langkawi Reopening This Month To International Tourists
Malaysia has already begun its reopening process in steps, with the resort island of Langkawi reopening quarantine-free to fully vaccinated visitors from certain countries on Monday, November 15th.
Travelers must plan a visit for at least three days on the island, have travel insurance with coverage of at least $80,000 and are required to engage a local tour guide. This is similar to the Phuket Sandbox Scheme which officials in Thailand began back in July.
Langkawi began accepting local tourists since September, but next Monday will be the first time international tourists will be able to visit the island since the entire nation closed its borders back in March 2020.
Malaysia’s Gradual Reopening Process
In October, Malaysia lifted travel restrictions for its fully vaccinated residents, allowing them to travel internationally without having to ask for permission.
And there’s been reports over the past couple of months that the Southeast Asian nation will reopen to international visitors by December, with the goal being that 90% of the adult population will be fully vaccinated by that time.
According to the latest statistics, over 75% of the population in Malaysia are fully vaccinated.
Chairman of National Recovery Council’s Official Statement
The chairman of Malaysia’s National Recovery Council and former Prime Minister, Muhyiddin Yassin, stated in a post on Facebook on Thursday that the reopening to domestic tourists on the island of Langkawi has already helped boost the local tourism industry.
In his post, he also said that, “The National Rehabilitation Council also agreed that the re-opening of the country borders for foreign tourists should be done as soon as January 1, 2022 to strengthen the national tourism sector.”
However, there is no official reopening date confirmed yet by the government council.
Entry Requirements For Travel To Malaysia
With reopening plans in the works, travelers can still expect entry requirements, even for fully vaccinated visitors throughout Malaysia.
For travel to Langkawi, tourists will have to provide a negative Covid test result taken no later than three days prior to departure.
Malaysia Opening Vaccinated Travel Lane With Singapore
It was also announced this week that Malaysia and neighboring Singapore will have a travel lane for vaccinated residents of both countries starting November 29. This will allow residents to easily move between the two countries.
The Malaysia-Singapore land border is typically one of the busiest land borders in the world, at over 400,000 crossings per day.
Southeast Asia Reopening End Of 2021 And Into 2022
A number of Southeast Asian countries have announced their gradual reopening in recent weeks. The countries include Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam and Singapore which all have plans to reopen many parts of the country by early 2022, with partial reopening starting this November and December.
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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