COVID-19 Hits Waterways, Malaysia Enforces Stricter Travel Rules, And More (Apr 23)

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Malaysia tightens the reins

Rules for interstate travel have changed as of April 20. Officials have announced that interstate travel for essential reasons – work and education – can only occur from Monday to Thursday. Meanwhile, interstate travel on weekends can only occur in instances of emergencies, death of a close family member, or long-distance marriage. The rule for obtaining a police permit for all interstate travel still applies. 

Interstate travel rules have become more stringent as the country sees a sharp increase in daily new COVID-19 cases in the past week, peaking at over 2500 new cases in a day. In a bid to curb this spike, Malaysian police have reiterated that interstate travel for social events, such as weddings, will not be allowed until after the Aidilfitri festive season. 

Melbourne on high alert

A whopping 31 neighbourhoods in Melbourne, Australia are on high alert as COVID-19 fragments are found in wastewater. The state of Victoria, however, has not recorded any new cases of COVID-19 in the last two months. It’s been recommended that those who live or have visited these affected areas monitor themselves for COVID-19 symptoms and get tested should they experience any. 

COVID’s in the air

Literally. Hong Kong has suspended all flights connecting with India following an outbreak of the COVID-19 virus on a flight from New Delhi to the island.  A staggering 47 out of 188 passengers on Vistara flight 6395 tested positive for the disease, setting a new record for the highest number of passengers on a single flight testing positive. 

No-fly zone

Authorities in the US have issued travel advisories for 80% of countries due to the COVID-19 pandemic, with 34 out of 200 of them being marked as, “Do Not Travel.” This includes Malaysia and the UK. Travel advisories are issued at four levels, with Macau, Taiwan, and New Zealand being the only three countries at the lowest level 1 tier of “Exercise normal precautions.” The pandemic has claimed over half a million American lives so far. 

Hit the ‘refresh’ button

In more uplifting news, booking portal Expedia is optimistic about the future of travel. As the world readies itself for the return of travel, Expedia has given their online platform experience an overhaul with an updated look and feel. This rebranding can be seen across its mobile app and more than 70 websites. 

“As travellers adjust to the new norms post-COVID-19, we must adjust as well, and this is just the first chapter in a multi-year journey to really deliver against our mission of being a brand that is there for travellers from start to finish,” said Shiv Singh, the Senior Vice President and General Manager or Expedia. 

A pilot’s perspective

Needless to say, we all miss soaring above the clouds. Thankfully, you can get your fix of #cloudporn with this stunning Instagram Reel of views from the cockpit by Malaysia Airlines pilot Vivian Foo. You go, girl!

Tengku Zai
Going by the nickname Kuzai, the Kelantan native has spent 15 years in the wonderful world of publishing, formerly managing the beauty sections of glossies including ELLE and Harper’s BAZAAR. Now, Kuzai is the Editor of Zafigo. The wannabe runner is also mom to a feisty toddler, suffers from constant wanderlust, and really just works to eat, travel, and shop.