Malaysia will reopen its borders to international visitors by Jan. 1, 2022, at the latest, in order to accelerate the recovery of its tourism sector.
This was announced by the chairman of Malaysia's National Recovery Council (NRC), Muhyiddin Yassin, who is also the ex-Prime Minister of Malaysia, according to CNN.
Economic recovery slowed down due to lack of foreign visitors
During a media conference on Thursday (Nov. 11), Muhyiddin said that Malaysia is ready to open its borders due to its high Covid-19 vaccination rate.
Currently, more than three-quarters of Malaysia's 32 million population are fully vaccinated.
Malaysia has closed its international borders to all foreign visitors since 2020, as the country grappled with increasing Covid-19 cases.
According to Muhyiddin, Malaysia's economic recovery has been lacklustre due to the absence of foreign visitors, and noted that operators needed time to resume businesses.
However, he added that the country would still impose infection control measures, such as Covid-19 tests, and that the authorities will determine which countries may enter Malaysia, based on the Covid-19 situation in each country.
CNN reported that Muhyiddin did not state when a confirmed date for reopening will be announced.
Malaysia has been gradually opening up its borders
On Nov. 8, a Vaccinated Travel Lane (VTL) was announced between Singapore and Malaysia.
Fully vaccinated travellers will be able to travel between Singapore and Malaysia via Changi Airport and Kuala Lumpur International Airport, from Nov. 29 onwards.
In addition, both Prime Ministers also said that they were looking forward to restoring travel across the land links between the two countries in the near future.
Two days later, on Nov. 10, Malaysian Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob announced that Malaysia and Indonesia have agreed to launch a VTL of their own.
Once it is implemented, travellers will be able to fly from Kuala Lumpur to Jakarta and Bali, and vice versa.
Top image via Unsplash.