Malaysia is preparing a phased return to tourism © Getty Images
Malaysia is preparing a phased return to tourism © Getty Images

Malaysia on track to welcome tourists back by January

TripFalcon November 12, 2021

Last Update: 2021-11-11 23:12:07

Malaysia has revealed plans to reopen its borders to tourists by January 1, 2022 amid a nationwide easing of COVID-19 measures.

As Malaysia eases restrictions in most states, it's also preparing to welcome tourists in the new year. This week, the government has begun offering glimpses of how the country will eventually reopen its borders now that infection rates are steadily decreasing across the country and vaccination rates are increasing, with more than 76% of Malaysia's 32 million population now fully vaccinated.

But Malaysia isn't rushing into anything. It announced this week it would launch a travel bubble with Singapore first on November 29, allowing quarantine-free travel between the two countries for people who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19. A similar travel arrangement with Indonesia will also be created, before Malaysia then opens its borders to international travelers on January 1 at the latest, according to Reuters.

Currently, most international travelers are banned from entering Malaysia for non-essential reasons and even fully vaccinated arrivals are required to test negative for COVID-19 before travel and quarantine for at least seven days when arriving into the country.

It's likely that arrivals will have to be vaccinated when borders reopen in January given that it's a requirement of the upcoming travel bubble arrangements with Singapore and Indonesia, but the government has yet to specify what entry requirements will look like in January. We will update this article when more information is available.

To be considered fully vaccinated to travel to Malaysia at present, 14 days must have passed since the second dose of Pfizer, AstraZeneca, or Sinovac vaccines; or 28 days after one dose of Johnson & Johnson or Cansino, confirms the US Embassy in Malaysia.

At a government meeting on Thursday, Reuters reports that the head of Malaysia's recovery taskforce, Muhyiddin Yassin, said measures such as "COVID-19 tests will remain in place, with authorities to determine entry based on the COVID-19 situation in originating countries, and other factors."

Most states in Malaysia are at phase four (the least restrictive) of the National Recovery Plan, which means that most businesses can operate at full capacity with health protocols in place. However, entertainment venues such as nightclubs and bars remain closed for now.

Source: lonelyplanet