Malaysia may open its borders to foreign travellers from January 1, 2022, in an attempt to revive its tourism industry. By Naina Atri
Malaysia to reopen borders for international travellers; here’s what we know:
The proposal was based on the impact of the declining industry on Malaysia’s overall economy. Further, coronavirus infection rates have started to reduce, while the vaccination rates have picked up. Around three-quarters of the southeast Asian country has been vaccinated, reports Reuters. State executive councillor of Kedah (a Malaysian state), Mohd Firdaus Ahmad, said that foreign tourists with a higher spending power would provide that much-needed impetus to the tourism industry. The proposed date would also give time to industry stakeholders to resume their operations after almost two years of little to no business.
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The chairman, who is Malaysia’s former Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin, did emphasise that COVID-19 measures will still stay in place, determining testing regulations and quarantine protocols. The official date and protocols for the total opening up of borders are still under discussion, however.
Malaysia has long been an attractive tourist destination, with its beloved beaches beguiling travellers from across the world. The Star also reported that in 2019, the tourism industry had raked in about RM 86 billion in revenue.
Malaysia has already put into motion a gradual and phased plan to open up with its first tourism bubble with Singapore, which began today. Similar plans with Indonesia are also being developed, reports Independent.ie. The ‘tourism lane’, as of now, has been for vaccinated travellers has begun in Langkawi, which was also the first tourism spot to be opened up to domestic tourists. Travellers all have to undergo a screening test when they land, at least within the first 48 hours.