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Covid-19 Situation Report: Malaysia
01 December 2020 | Written by Chris Alexander

Confirmed cases: 64,485
Deaths: 357 
Recovered: 52,647 

Malaysia remains closed to international tourists at this time. However, the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture (MOTAC) recently outlined a plan to revive Malaysia’s tourism industry. In addition to a new ‘travel bubble’ scheme, this plan includes a range of promotions, investments and partnerships designed to restart the nation’s travel networks and attractions. The hope is that resurgence in domestic travel can then be expanded in stages to include international tourism. 

Minister Datuk Seri Nancy Shukri has confirmed the plan involves restoring confidence in Malaysia among travellers, reviving domestic tourism infrastructure and maximising current resources. The government is working on a series of promotional initiatives to boost the industry’s economic prospects, including partnerships with airline companies, promotions alongside tour providers and collaborations with non-government organisations such as the Malaysian Association of Hotels (MAH) and Malaysia Budget Hotel Association (MyBHA). 

The latest set of initiatives is designed to complement Malaysia’s “green travel bubble” scheme, in which travellers will be free to move between designated ‘green zones’ where risk of exposure to Covid-19 is minimal. Tourism activities permitted within the travel bubble include meetings, conferences, exhibitions, travel fairs, travel marts, cultural carnivals, sports tourism and courses related to tourism. A range of special interest tourism activities are also allowed, including golf, scuba diving, snorkelling, cycling, fishing, yachting and eco-tourism activities like bird watching, caving, mountain climbing, white water rafting, hiking and jungle trekking.  

This scheme offers a glimpse into the future for international tourists, and places added importance on local tour agencies and DMCs. Under the current plan, tourists travelling in a group from green zone to green zone with a registered travel agencies need not apply for the usual police permits required for interstate travel when they pass through a yellow or red zones to get to their destination. In red or yellow zones, only three people are allowed inside a private vehicle. However, for travel for tourism purposes between green zones, vehicles are permitted to operate at full capacity. 

The government is clearly gearing up for a revival of tourism operations and infrastructure nationwide. Throughout November, the National Security Council has been encouraging tourists to make travel arrangements through licensed tour companies and guides registered with MOTAC. Government officials are also urging tourism industry players to continue introducing attractive packages periodically to maintain public interest. 

Malaysia Tourism Council president Uzaidi Udanis believes the domestic tourism bubble will provide a much-needed influx of capital for the Malaysian tourism sector: “I hope the Government can channel immediate assistance, especially the allocation through the existing Tourism Recovery Plan for this year to help the tourism sector while awaiting the allocation of RM200 million through Budget 2021,” he said. 

Panorama Destination Malaysia News: 

We are using the hiatus offered to us by the global pandemic as an opportunity to create and innovate; Panorama Destination Malaysia has prepared an exciting range of new products, tours and services with a clear emphasis on sustainable travel. We expect that travellers in the ‘new normal’ will want to explore Malaysia on tours that are safe, insulated against potential risks and with an emphasis on the great outdoors. To that end, our new products will connect our clients with clean, green travel to some of Malaysia’s most beautiful natural locations and traditional cultural highlights. Connecting green zones together, these tours will turn travel bubble discoveries into something truly memorable. 

To ensure the safety of clients when they return to Malaysia, Panorama Destination has introduced a dedicated set of health and safety protocols, based on a company-wide Covid-19 policy. The business has also achieved safety certification from a range of internationally recognised organizations, and is an official member of the World Travel & Tourism Council ‘Safe Travels’ campaign

Panorama Destination Malaysia recently achieved Travelife Partner status. This internationally recognised certification enables us to provide products and services that are more deeply rooted in sustainability; providing travel experiences that positively impact the environment and communities where we operate. 

Panorama Destination continues to work alongside the Government and with other DMCs in Malaysia, to ensure safe and standardised services for all returning visitors. We continue to provide the latest breaking news regarding Covid-19 and its impact on tourism via our social media channels: 

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We also understand that our clients, agents and partners have many concerns and questions regarding the current situation in Malaysia with regards to Covid-19. To help address some of these issues, we’ve put together a series of frequently asked questions and provided a response according to the most current information. 

(Please note that the Covid-19 situation in Malaysia continues to develop on an almost daily basis. All information above and below is accurate at the time of writing – for the latest updates, please refer to our social media channels, or get in touch directly) 

Covid-19 FAQ 

What is the latest Covid-19 situation in Malaysia? 

The Conditional Movement Control Order (CMCO), currently in place in Kuala Lumpur, Selangor, Putrajaya and Sabah, and all states in Peninsular Malaysia except Kelantan, Perlis and Pahang, is expected to be lifted on 6 December. The rest of the country remains under moderate travel and business restrictions, known as the ‘Recovery Movement Control Order (RMCO)’, which is scheduled to remain in place until 31st December. Virtually all social, educational, religious and business activities are permitted, while Malaysia’s economic sectors also continue to reopen in phases.  

What is Malaysia’s proposed plan for reopening tourism? 

The Malaysia Convention & Exhibition Bureau (MyCEB) has officially launched its ‘Meet in Malaysia Campaign’, which is designed to restart the country’s MICE sector.  Like Thailand, some medical tourism is also permitted under the current restrictions, and the government is preparing a wide range of integrated tourism promotions in the expectation that international travel will soon be permitted. MICE bookings are already being taken for travel up to December 2021. The Tourism Ministry’s travel bubble strategy, is designed to connect Malaysia with similar safe zones in other countries worldwide. Nations in line to connect with Malaysia include Australia, Brunei, China, Japan, New Zealand, South Korea, Singapore, Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam. 

How is the Malaysian hospitalities sector holding up? 

There’s plenty of reason for optimism for tourism in Malaysia at the moment. Many hotels are achieving Covid-19 safety certification, in preparation for the return of international guests in the near future, with thousands signing up to the nationwide ‘Clean & Safe’ campaign, designed to provide industry-wide health and safety standards and ensure the safety of guests during post-pandemic travel.  

Where can I find more information? 

As always, check our website and social media channels for all the latest updates:  

Facebook | Instagram | LinkedIn | Twitter

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