Vacay Time! The Lowdown On Malaysia’s New Interstate & International Travel SOPs

Prime minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob announced last weekend that interstate travel across Malaysia and international travel will be allowed to resume. But what’s the catch? (Afifi Zulkifle/Unsplash)

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For many of us, the thought of travelling abroad was still unfathomable over a year — it’s as if we were asking to go to the moon. Now, thanks to our patience and our country’s vaccination rate, we’re now able to travel interstate and out of the country. But what’s the catch?

To prepare for your post-vaccination travels, we’ve compiled this checklist to help you assess if you’re eligible to travel and the SOPs involved:

Requirements for interstate travel

1. Travel is only open to fully vaccinated individuals (14 or 28 days after completing all required doses of the COVID-19 vaccine depending on which brand you receive).
2. Travel opened on 11 October 2021.
3. Those travelling are encouraged to perform their own COVID-19 tests before starting their journeys.

Requirements for international travel

1. Travel is only open to fully-vaccinated individuals (14 or 28 days after completing all required doses of the COVID-19 vaccine depending on which brand you receive)
2. Travel is open on 11 October 2021.

SOPs for those eligible to travel interstate

1. Malaysians are free to move across state lines, including to return to their respective hometowns to meet with loved ones and for tourism purposes.
2. This permission does not apply to those who are currently in areas under EMCO (or PKPD).
3. Permission to travel from PDRM is not required.
4.No more police roadblocks to enforce the ban on interstate travel, but random checks will be conducted at rest and relax (RnR) pitstops along highways to ensure that travellers are fully vaccinated.
5. Individuals wanting to enter Sarawak will have to first make an application via the EnterSarawak website.
6. Those visiting Sarawak will need to furnish proof of their fully vaccinated status as well as results from a RT-PCR or an RTK antigen rapid test (from a clinic or medical lab), valid for three days from submission of the application.

(Annie Spratt/Unsplash)

SOPs for those eligible to travel international

1. Malaysian citizens who are fully vaccinated will be permitted to travel overseas without having to apply for the MyTravelPass scheme.
2. Permission to travel from PDRM is not required.
3. Those returning to Malaysia will need to do a swab test three days before their return date, and when arriving at an entry point into the country.
4. There is still a mandatory 14-day quarantine in place upon re-entry to Malaysia.
5. Malaysians are allowed to apply for quarantine to be done at home.

The much-awaited news is music to our ears as those waiting to see their family and those planning for a holiday after a long time can finally do so.

The interstate travel prohibition was enacted in early January in response to an increase in COVID-19 infections. As the government coped with mounting case numbers, the ban remained in force for much of the year.

This lift in interstate ban was critical to recovering the ailing domestic tourist sector and allowing Malaysians who had been separated from their relatives to reunite with them in their hometowns.

PM Ismail Sabri acknowledged that despite the loosening of these COVID-19 restrictions, the reality was that Malaysians will have to live with COVID-19. He urged Malaysians to adhere to health protocols and those who have not yet been vaccinated to get jabbed quickly.

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A journalist by profession, self-proclaimed horror movie expert by passion. Danisha needs to spend more time watching sunsets than Netflix. Ultimately, she's just another girl figuring out her place in the world in between the multitudinous demands of adult life.