In a bid to revive its ailing tourism sector, Malaysia is planning to reopen its borders to international travelers by January 1 at the latest, a government advisory council said on Thursday.
It may be noted that the Southeast Asian country has gradually reopened its economy in recent weeks as Coronavirus infection rates have slowed amid a ramped-up vaccination program.
As per the statistics shared by the Malaysian government more than three-quarters of Malaysia’s 32 million population are now vaccinated against the deadly Covid-19 virus.
Former Prime Minister, Muhyiddin Yassin, who chairs a council tasked with spearheading Malaysia’s economic recovery program, told reporters the tourism industry was recovering too slowly without foreigners and noted that operators needed time to resume businesses.
Muhyiddin, however, said that infection control measures such as Covid-19 tests will remain in place, with authorities to determine entry based on the Covid-19 situation in originating countries and other factors. He did not state when a firm date for reopening will be announced but said the decision was still being detailed by health and security agencies.
Vaccinated Travel Lane With Singapore
Malaysia this week announced it would launch a vaccinated travel lane with neighboring Singapore on November 29, allowing quarantine-free travel for inoculated people between both countries. It has also agreed with Indonesia to introduce a similar travel corridor on a gradual basis.
Before the Covid-19 pandemic, more than 300,000 people crossed the Malaysia-Singapore land border each day, while the air route between Singapore and Malaysia’s capital city Kuala Lumpur was one of the busiest globally.
Currently, Malaysian citizens working in Singapore, and Singapore citizens working in Malaysia can cross the land border under a bilateral arrangement.