Malaysia’s tourism minister stated that the government intends to reopen the country to international visitors in November. Singapore travelers may be the first to be welcomed, according to the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture.
The official will meet with Singapore authorities next week to discuss the restoration of cross-border travel between the two countries, she counted CNBC is on Thursday.
“We are open to Singapore as long as Singapore is open to us as well.”
In addition, the minister recommended the government to reopen Langkawi, a cluster of 99 islands in the Strait of Malacca, starting next month for all fully vaccinated international travelers.
In turn, Malaysia’s deputy director of Tourism for Asia and Africa said at a press conference on Tuesday that Langkawi may open in mid-November.
“Langkawi will be the pioneer destination for international tourists coming to Malaysia. We anticipate that international borders will open in mid-November. ”
Why does the government want Langkawi to open before the rest of the country?
For starters, since it reopened in some countries, there has been no community transmission of the coronavirus between tourists and residents.
In addition, more than 92% of Langkawi’s residents are already fully vaccinated, putting them ahead of the rest of the country.
Another important factor is that neighboring countries such as Singapore, Thailand and Indonesia have already reopened their borders or relaxed entry restrictions for international arrivals. Malaysia does not want to be left behind.
“We’re looking at what other countries are doing and seeing where we can fit in, trying to make sure we don’t get left behind,” she said.
For example, Singapore recently expanded its no-quarantine travel policy to include Canada, the United States, plus seven EU countries and South Korea, plus Germany, Brunei, Hong Kong and Macau.
Visitors must present a negative COVID-19 obtained within 72 hours before traveling to Malaysia.
Another PCR test will be required upon arrival in Langkawi. To avoid crowding and minimize the risk of new infections, the second test must be carried out at the visitors’ hotels within 48 hours of arrival.
“According to our plan, we will open up so that any country can come to Langkawi, it is not restricted to any destination. However, we are still seeking some advice for these high-risk destinations,” said Nasaruddin Bin Abdul Muttalib, chief executive of the Langkawi Development Authority.