Malaysia To Reopen For International Tourism And Lift More Restrictions On April 1

Malaysia To Fully Reopen Borders For Tourism And Lift Local Covid Restrictions On April 1

Malaysia will reopen its borders to overseas tourists and remove most remaining Covid-19 restrictions on businesses, Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob announced Tuesday.

There will be no more quarantine for fully vaccinated passengers after April 1. They, however, must undergo a Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR) test two days before departure and a professional Rapid Test Kit-Antigen (RTK-Ag) test within 24 hours of landing in Malaysia.

Malaysian nationals will no longer be subject to Covid-related travel restrictions, thus, they will be permitted to freely travel internationally.

“I believe [the border’s reopening] has been long-awaited by the people. This announcement will also boost the economy as a whole, in particular the tourism industry that has been badly affected by the pandemic,” Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob told reporters.

“Most importantly, Malaysia is now a destination that is open and can be visited by all,” he added.

The entry conditions for unvaccinated tourists are yet to be announced.

“For those who are not fully vaccinated, or unable to receive the vaccine due to health reasons, the health minister will detail further Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) on this tomorrow,” said the PM.

Aerial view of scenic tropical island, Bohey Dulang
Bohey Dulang Island, Borneo, Malaysia

Another restriction the government lifted was the obligation for foreign visitors to apply via the MyTravelPass mechanism. The Primer Minister said that they will merely need to download the MySejahtera app for contact tracing.

According to Ismail, the decision follows a high vaccination rate, low hospitalizations, and a small number of serious cases.

These indicators “allow us all to return back to an almost normal life after almost two years at war with COVID-19,” he said in a national broadcast. 

The mask-wearing requirement will continue to apply in public places such as shops, tourist attractions, public transportation, and theatres.

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However, the present 50 percent capacity limit for weddings and other large events will be lifted. Visitors will also be permitted to dine at restaurants after midnight, including during the month of Ramadan.

Malaysia’s Tourism, Arts and Culture Ministry estimates that between 2020 and 2021, the country lost roughly RM300 billion (S$97.9 billion) in tourism-related revenue.

In 2019, the tourist industry generated RM240.2 billion, or over 16% of Malaysia’s total domestic product.

According to the Malaysian Association of Hotels, more than 100 hotels have closed either temporarily or permanently, resulting in the loss of nearly 20,000 jobs (MAH).