More good news abounds! In an effort to help regional travel recover, new Vaccinated Travel Lanes (VTLs) are opening up in Southeast Asia as governments find safe ways to reopen their borders while still maintaining some safeguards.

Now, efforts to restore international borders will be bolstered by the implementation of new VTLs between Malaysia, Thailand, and Cambodia beginning 15 March 2022. The three new routes involve KL-Bangkok, KL-Phuket, and KL-Phnom Penh.

According to Malaysian Transport Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wee Ka Siong, the VTLs will eliminate the need for visitors to quarantine upon arrival.

What to know about KL-Bangkok, KL-Phuket and KL-Phnom Penh VTLs:

Designated airlines from both countries will be allowed to operate up to six flights daily on the KL-Bangkok route, while the KL-Phuket VTL flights are capped at four per day. Any increase in the limit must be agreed to by both parties.

The KL-Phnom Penh VTL will begin operations with two daily flights in accordance with Cambodian law. The demand for more capacity is determined by the market demand.

Dr Wee Ka Siong said that task groups will discuss SOPs and health protocols. The Transport Minister further stressed that the government will continue discussions with neighbouring ASEAN countries on the safe reopening of additional routes throughout Southeast Asia according to prevailing situations.

Rumours about Malaysia’s borders being opened to tourists have been circulating for some time now. In addition, Malaysia has started VTLs from Kuala Lumpur, Johor Bahru, and Penang to Singapore. As for Thailand, their many sandbox models and test-and-go strategy have welcomed tourists.

As of this writing, the Immigration Department Malaysia portal has not been updated.

How to get into Thailand through the sandbox or test-go scheme:

Pre-departure checks include:

  • Thailand Pass.
  • Valid Thai visa in your passport or electronic visa approval (if applicable).
  • Medical Certificate with a laboratory result indicating that COVID-19 is not detected. The COVID test must be by the RT-PCR method, taken and conducted within 72 hours before departure.
  • Please print the COVID-19 travel insurance certificate and all pages of the terms and conditions on the COVID-19 coverage and medical benefits. You may be refused to board the flight if you cannot show that the insurance meets this requirement.
  • Copy of confirmed ASQ Hotel, SHA+ Hotel, or Test & Go Hotel booking.
  • Copy of confirmed flight reservation.
  • COVID-19 Vaccination Certificate.

Arrival processes vary between VTL destination countries, so check your travel destination’s specifics before booking tickets. Also, for your return trip, double-check all arrival protocols.