More countries have resumed international flights to boost their airline and tourism industry which were badly hit by the restrictions imposed to contain COVID-19. Naturally, this had led to many expressing their concerns on safe travelling — especially internationally.
With this in mind, Malaysia has recommended creating an “appropriate regulatory coherence mechanism to facilitate safe, convenient, and seamless travel at the regional level.” In proposing the regional travel system, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob encouraged the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) to work together on this endeavour.
This, he said, will “surely encourage travel and tourism industries, which are among the hardest impacted by the pandemic, and this, in turn, would drive economic recovery.”
The prime minister also emphasised the importance of increased vaccine multilateralism through improved distribution and recognition cooperation.
He stated that effective pandemic management necessitates fair, equitable, and inexpensive vaccines for everybody, and that this is necessary to ensure that no economy is left behind.
Fully vaccinated Malaysians have been able to go overseas since last month, while international tourists are permitted to visit Malaysia subject to strict adherence to the safety measures in place.
The prime minister earlier this month announced that a Vaccinated Travel Lane between Malaysia and Singapore will be established on 29 November. The VTL will start with six designated flights between Changi International Airport and Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA). Malaysia is also working on establishing a Travel Corridor Agreement with Indonesia.
Meanwhile, starting 16 November, international tourists can enjoy the beauty and beaches of the island of Langkawi without quarantine. Tourists staying more than seven days are allowed to travel to other parts of Malaysia. The full reopening of the Malaysian borders is expected from 1 January, 2022.
Langkawi will initially reopen to fully vaccinated ‘high-yield’ tourists who are staying in Langkawi no less than three days. Tourists must have medical insurance of at least USD80,000 (approximately RM333,000). Foreign vacationers cannot travel independently under the plan; instead, they must use the services of a tour operator or agency registered with Malaysian tourism authorities.
Brunei will also open its borders for non-essential travel once 80% of the population in the country has been vaccinated.