PUTRAJAYA, 22 Oct 2021:
Langkawi Island is opening up for foreign tourists from Nov 15, with quarantine-free entry for fully vaccinated persons under the inbound International Tourism Bubble pilot scheme.
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob announced this decision was made at the Covid-19 Pandemic Management Special Committee meeting today.
“Children under the age of 18 must be present with their parents/guardians who have been fully vaccinated, while the list of countries allowed will be determined by the Malaysian Immigration Department, Ministry of Health Malaysia and Ministry of Foreign Affairs,” he said in a statement.
This pilot project aims to attract high-value tourists in groups capped at 20 persons and each must subscribe to the US80,000 health insurance policy approved by the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture.
All costs must be borne by these foreign tourists, who must stay in Langkawi for at least three days (72 hours). Apart from testing negative for Covid-19 less than three days before arrival, these foreign tourists must also undergo Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR) testing upon arrival – either at KL International Airport or at Langkawi Airport.
For longer stays, these tourists must conduct the RT=PCR test on day five and any tourists found positive will be taken to isolation/quarantine centres or private hospitals.
Ismail Sabri said this Langkawi pilot scheme will be monitored for three months before any decision is made to extend similar quarantine-free entry to other islands and resorts within Malaysia.
Malaysia’s move comes after Thailand announced quarantine-free entry to fully-vaccinated tourists from 46 low-risk countries and territories effective Nov 1.
Thai prime minister Prayuth Chan o-cha made this announcement yesterday, noting that several countries in the region had announced reopening of borders and easing travel restrictions to welcome international travellers as well as allow locals to travel abroad.
“We need to move faster and do it now because by waiting for everything to be perfect, we could be too late. Tourists may decide to travel to other countries,” he posted on his official Facebook page.
Among the list of countries included in Thailand’s list is Malaysia, the list also has Australia, Cambodia, China, Hong Kong, Japan, New Zealand, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Taiwan, US and UK, among others.