malaysia reopening

Malaysia Plans To Open International Tourism On December 1

Malaysia might reopen for tourism on Dec. 1. As of today, only to special long-pass holders and returning nationals only. There is a mandatory quarantine of 7-10 days at a government-appointed facility and negative PCR test results are required. 

All costs for additional testing and hospitalization (if necessary), as well as quarantine accommodation, will be covered by the traveler.

The country started its vaccination campaign and tourism officials are confident this will allow them to welcome international tourists soon. They are negotiating bubble agreements and green lanes with neighboring countries.

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Disclaimer: Travel restrictions and governmental regulations can change rapidly and the information below might be outdated within a few hours. Therefore, double-check all information with your embassy or on official websites. Traveling Lifestyle does not take any responsibility for your decision to travel.

Singapore reopening borders – Latest Updates
Thailand Islands reopening for vaccinated tourists

Malaysia Reopening for Tourism – Latest Updates

October 9 – Malaysia plans to resume international tourism on Dec. 1. 

Malaysia will reopen international borders as soon as the country manages to immunize 90% of its population, which is expected to happen by Dec. 1.

The country will make sure to restart interstate before it happens. 

“I believe the time for interstate travel is getting close, and I will immediately announce the resumption of interstate travel when the vaccination rate (for the adult population) reaches 90 percent,” Malaysia’s PM said.

To this date, the country has vaccinated 87% of its adult population.

Read our full post: Malaysia Plans To Reopen for International Tourism on December 1

September 22 – Malaysia reopened its paradise island Langkawi for local tourism on Sept. 19

Malaysia has been closed for international tourism since May 2020 and also has closed multiple islands for local visitors.

This week the country decided to reopen its paradise island Langkawi and hours later multiple flights landed with hundreds of tourists. 

“The main issue I see among the tourists is a lack of social distancing, especially on inbound flights to Langkawi,” said Former Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, who represents Langkawi in parliament.

However, the Malaysian Association of Hotels board feels confident because, after seeing Thailand’s experience, they vaccinated all hotel staff on the island to be ready for this reopening.

Source: Nikkei Asia

Is Malaysia and Singapore’s border open?

The border between Malaysia and Singapore remains closed until further notice.

Prior to Covid-19, the border between Malaysia and Singapore was among the world’s busiest. There were over 29,000 flights between the two countries annually as well as 300,000 daily land crossings.

Rules for Medical Tourists in Malaysia

They will be required to register with the Malaysian Healthcare Travel Council (MHTC) and download an app.

Prior to coming to Malaysia, they must pass a Covid-19 test. They will also be tested upon arrival. They must go directly into quarantine at the hospital or clinic where they will receive care.

If a medical tourist has a family member or guardian, then that person must also follow these guidelines.

Which countries can enter Malaysia?

Malaysia allows visitors coming under the Recovery Movement Control Order (RMCO). Only special long-pass holders and returning nationals are allowed entry.

Can Americans visit Malaysia?

Unless they fall in the categories mentioned above or are diplomats or their families, Americans are not allowed entry to the country.

Malaysia’s Borders still Closed; Delays Likely

malaysia reopening in 2021

Since March, 2020, tourism has been restricted in Malaysia with a government-ordered Movement Control Order (MCO) in place. General tourism is still not possible, but as of July 1, medical tourists were allowed.

In addition, a few other foreigners are being allowed to enter. These include foreign spouses and dependents and a few select workers in high management positions. These arrivals must follow the same strict entry rules as medical tourists.

How the Coronavirus has affected Malaysia

As of October 9, Malaysia has recorded 2,323,478 cases and 27,191 deaths caused by the virus.

COVID-19 cases in Malaysia

Malaysia imposed a strict quarantine policy that included asymptomatic patients. Anyone who came into close contact with a confirmed coronavirus patient was subject to being hospitalized. It also imposed mass testing early on, particularly in high-risk areas. 

Why visit Malaysia?


Located in Southeast Asia, Malaysia takes up part of the Malay Peninsula as well as the island of Borneo.

It’s known for its natural beauty, with white sand beaches and tropical rainforests. It is also a melting pot of cultures, with Malay, Chinese, Indian, and Europeans all living here.

Visitors to Malaysia can choose between two very different experiences. They can either visit the Malay Peninsula, which has an ultramodern capital, Kuala Lumpur, and a blend of Malay, Chinese, Indian, and European cultures.

Or they can visit the Malaysian Borneo. Here they will find orangutans and remote tribes in the wild jungles as well as granite peaks, massive trees, and waterfalls. There are also beautiful islands, excellent diving, colonial towns to explore, and luxury resorts.

For those who seek pristine white beaches, Langkawi offers 99 islands to choose from. An archipelago in the Andaman Sea, it is Malaysia’s heaviest tourist destination.

Conservationists can visit the Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation center, which was opened in 1964. Here they can meet rescued orphans, who are trained to survive in the wild. They are released into the adjacent sanctuary.

In Kuala Lumpur, meanwhile, tourists can see the Petronas Twin Towers, which are the tallest twin buildings in the world. The Batu Caves near the city offer magnificent Hindu art and there are many beautiful Buddhist and Hindu temples within the city itself.

The Bukit Bintag shopping district offers both daytime bargains and trendy nightlife.

Thanks to the mix of cultures here, there are also some addictively tasty dishes to try.

Petronas twin towers

It may be a while before Malaysia opens its borders. When it does, make sure your visit here encompasses both the highlights of the peninsula and the unique charms of Borneo.

Malaysia reopening border: Update Archives

September 6 – Multiple Malaysian states surpassed 90% ICUs capacity last weekend

Despite Malaysia being in a state of emergency for more than 7 months and in lockdown since June, Selangor, Johor and Penang ICUs have surpassed 90% ICUs capacity as the country reports a record high of 20,396 daily cases as of September 5.

Three states have already overflown ICU capacity. Kedah 123%, Perak 108% and Kelantan 103%.

According to Health Director-General Noor Hisham Abdullah the overall national occupancy rate for ICUs exceeds 86% as per today. 

No additional restrictions have been announced yet.

Source: CNA

August 12 – Malaysia will no longer use the number of cases but COVID hospitalization rates to reopen

Malaysia is dropping the number of COVID-19 cases as an indicator to safely reopen.

From now, the COVID-19 hospitalization rate will be used to determine when a state can move to the third or four-phase of the plan and therefore, reopen. 

It would be great news if the number of patients permitted were not extremely low. The government will accept no more than 1.3 cases per 100,000 population to allow states to reopen, which would be one of the lowest hospitalization rates in the world.

Source: Bangkok Post

August 26 – The World Health Organization (WHO) warns Malaysia about its pandemic management 

Vaccines alone won’t control COVID, it’s the message (WHO) has sent to the recently appointed Malaysia’s new Prime Minister, Ismail Sabri Yaakob.

In the last 24 hours, the country reported 22,642 new COVID-19 cases bringing its total tally to more than 1.6 million since the pandemic began.

“It’s actually up to countries to carefully assess (…) the effectiveness of the intervention [But] it’s very important point for the Covid-19 response is not to rely on just one measure, but to make it as a combination,” said Dr. Kasai during the last WHO’s virtual press conference.


July 28 – Malaysia eased COVID-19 restrictions on July 20 but international travel remains banned

The government ended the enhanced movement control order (EMCO) and eased COVID-19 restrictions on July 20 in most areas of the country including the capital Kuala Lumpur and Selangor State.

Restrictions are still tough. Interstate travel remains banned and children under the age of 12 are allowed to leave home for essential reasons only. These include going to the doctor and other emergency situations.

International travel remains banned. In order to get an entry permit, visitors need to get a formal written approval from the Malaysian Government. Such permission can be obtained through My Travel Pass, a portal of Malaysian Immigration.

Source: U.S. Embassy in Malaysia

July 12 – Malaysia registered highest number of tourists in ASEAN countries in 2H 2020

Once the domestic lockdowns were lifted back in 2020, Malaysia recorded the highest number of domestic travelers among the 10 countries comprising the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).

“Despite an enormous drop in bookings, the desire for Malaysians to travel is crystal clear across all regions of the country and we saw Malaysia’s destinations which never made it to our top 10 before, made it into that list,” said Agoda corporate development vice president Tim Hughes during the virtual conference Maybank’s Invest ASEAN 2021.

According to Hughes, the winning strategy has been focusing on creating flexible products appealing to local markets.

Source: The Edge Markets

June 28 –  Malaysia will remain under full lockdown after June 28, while business groups urge the government to reopen

On June 27, Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin announced that the country will remain under lockdown after June 28, the day the nationwide restrictions were supposed to be lifted. 

Industries Unite (IU), an association that gathers 3 million businesses, has demanded the government to reopen the economy since the “full” Movement Control Order has not shown symptoms of helping flatten the curve.

“People are struggling to put food on the table, how many months of reserve can businesses be expected to have?” said David Gurupatham, coordinator for the IU coalition at a press conference. He also added that businesses “cannot last beyond the next couple of months”.

As of today, the government has not issued an official response. (Source).