Malaysia will reopen its borders and welcome back international arrivals from tomorrow (1/4) onwards. The long-awaited news brings an end to nearly 2 years of closure caused by Covid-19. As Malaysia continues its steady transition to the endemic phase, the tourism industry is finally ready to leave the past behind and look to the future.
The news was made official in an announcement by Malaysia’s Prime Minister, Ismail Sabri Yaakob, on 8 March. Addressing the nation and assembled global media live via televised press conference, the PM confirmed that the decision had been taken after careful consideration to ensure safety and preparedness. With minimal active cases, hospital occupancy very low and vaccination rates among the world’s highest, officials decided the time was right to reopen.
“Malaysia is now an open destination,” confirmed Yaakob, in a statement that will be music to the ears of the beleaguered travel sector, which has waited anxiously for confirmation of reopening. “The move allows us all to return back to an almost normal life after almost 2 years at war with COVID-19,” added the Prime Minister.
Under the new regulations, fully vaccinated travellers will be able to enjoy quarantine-free travel in Malaysia, provided they meet the necessary entry requirements. These include a Covid-19 RT-PCR test, taken no more than 2 days prior to departure. They will also need to pass a RTK-Ag test, taken within 24 hours of arrival.
In addition to the borders reopening, all restrictions on opening hours and capacities for businesses, places of worship and events involving large crowds will also be lifted, said the PM. This means that travellers returning to Malaysia can fully enjoy all the delights the country has to offer. Social distancing is still recommended, along with the use of face masks, while travellers will also be expected to ‘check-in’ at tourism objects using the MySejahtera app.
On the eve of reopening, officials and tourism workers are united in their excitement for what the future will bring for tourism in Malaysia. For many, the news did not come a moment too soon. “The reopening of international borders, is timely for our marketing agency, Tourism Malaysia to implement its Strategic Plan 2022-2026,” said Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture, Sri Hajah Nancy Shukri. She went on to explain that her plan included “undertaking strategic transformation, forging smart partnerships, enhancing tourism promotion and optimising strategic communication as well as media engagement.”
With borders reopening, travellers returning and new opportunities on the horizon, the Malaysian tourism landscape is looking good for the months ahead. Panorama Destination Malaysia will soon be contacting its friends and clients around the world to revive old partnerships and share new promotions.