M'sia says it may reopen to fully vaccinated foreign tourists in December

Depending on the results of the Langkawi travel bubble, which will start on Nov. 15.

Jean Chien Tay | October 27, 2021, 10:30 PM

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Malaysia may open their borders to international travellers by early December, according to the Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture (MOTAC) Nancy Shukri, Malaysiakini reported.

Possible to visit Langkawi if you're fully vaccinated

Fully vaccinated foreign tourists from an approved list of countries will reportedly be able to visit the island of Langkawi without having to undergo the 14-day quarantine regime.

Nancy said the reopening date will be determined after observing the implementation of the international travel bubble in Langkawi that is scheduled to begin on Nov. 15, according to the New Straits Times (NST).

While the politician said her ministry has planned to observe the situation for three months after the launch, she expressed the possibility of opening up other areas in Malaysia at an earlier date, "maybe December".

However, Nancy also reportedly added that plans of reopening Malaysia's borders would depend on the results of the Langkawi travel bubble.

Langkawi was first destination with domestic travel bubble

The island of Langkawi was the first destination that implemented a domestic travel bubble for fully vaccinated individuals in Malaysia, and began receiving domestic tourists on Sep. 16, according to The Star.

Nancy said over 100,000 domestic travellers visited Langkawi under the travel bubble from Sep. 15 to Oct. 16, NST reported.

She further explained that the domestic travel bubble was no longer necessary after the Malaysian government allowed interstate travel for fully vaccinated individuals from Oct. 11 onwards.

Recently teased opening borders to Singapore

Meanwhile, the politician recently said in an interview with CNBC that Malaysia could reopen its borders to Singapore "very soon".

According to Nancy, she is supposed to meet with Singaporean officials on the last week of October, where both sides will discuss the resumption of cross-border travel.

Adding that she expects the resumption to happen as soon as November, the tourism minister reportedly said that Malaysia is "open to Singapore", as long as Singapore is open to Malaysia as well.

It is not the first time Malaysia has unilaterally talked about reopening their borders to Singapore, which has been ongoing for months now.

Despite easing Covid-19 related measures such as allowing dine-in and interstate travel, Malaysia has recorded a downward trend in daily Covid-19 cases, with 5,726 cases reported on Oct. 26, as compared to over 20,000 daily cases in August.

On the other hand, Singapore extended the two-person dine-in rule by almost a month till Nov. 21, in a bid to "stabilise" the situation.

Singapore has seen an uptick of cases in recent weeks, with 3,277 new cases reported on Oct. 26.

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