For the first time in two years, Malaysia will be allowing quarantine-free entry for all travellers vaccinated against Covid-19, Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob said on Tuesday.
“Citizens with valid travel documents can enter and leave the country as they did before the pandemic,” he said, continuing that all fully vaccinated Malaysians can now travel to any country that has opened their borders to visitors.
As for travelling to countries that have yet to open their borders such as Singapore, Ismail Sabri stated that Malaysians can opt for the Vaccinated Travel Lane (VTL) method. The country is currently also implementing the VTL method with Brunei, Indonesia and Thailand.
Following this, foreigners will no longer be required to apply for MyTravelPass as of April. They must, however, download the MySejahtera app and undergo a RT-PCR test two days before their departure, and a rapid test (RTK) upon arrival. As said by Ismail Sabri, “the country also wants to provide comfort to travellers and to not complicate their travel process”
Since March 2020, Malaysia has maintained one of the strictest entry curbs in Asia to contain the Covid-19 outbreak. The reopening marks Malaysia’s first steps in joining other Southeast Asian countries in transitioning into the endemic phase of the outbreak. It has been recorded that nearly 98% of Malaysia’s adult population have been fully vaccinated and 64% of them have received booster shots.
Ismail Sabri also said that while the number of Covid-19 cases is still high, hospitalisation rates are currently under control and that 99% of the recent cases are mild or asymptomatic.
“This move will revive the country’s economy, especially the tourism that has been affected by the pandemic,'' he said.
The Prime Minister also announced new Covid-19 protocols that will take place in the endemic phase, which include:
- Eateries will be permitted to operate past midnight, depending on their licences.
- Social distancing will no longer be required at places of worship.
- There will not be 50% capacity for event venues.
- Vaccinations will not be required for inter-state travel or work.
That being said, it will still be mandatory for Malaysians to wear their masks and check in at premises with their MySejahtera app.
Updates will be provided once more information becomes available.