Ismail Sabri Yaakob, Prime Minister of Malaysia, on Tuesday, announced that Malaysia will reopen its borders on 1st April 2022 for the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic began.
In a televised address, Ismail Sabri Yaakob said that Malaysia will begin a transition to the endemic phase of COVID-19 from next month, following a high vaccination rate in the country.
The Southeast Asian country shut its borders in March 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and imposed tight travel restrictions which largely banned foreign visitors and required returning citizens to quarantine upon arrival.
Starting 1st April 2022, fully vaccinated travellers will not be required to quarantine upon entry to the country, but must take a RT-PCR test two days before departure and an antigen test within 24 hours of their arrival.
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Visitors will no longer need to apply for the My Travel Pass programme, and restrictions on business operating hours, gatherings, social distancing and interstate travel will also be eased from next month.
Malaysia is also planning travel agreements with Brunei, Thailand and Indonesia, adding to its existing Vaccinated Travel Lane agreement with Singapore.
Izham Ismail, Group CEO of Malaysia Aviation Group, welcomed the news, commenting:
The move signifies a momentous occasion in the nation’s longstanding battle with the COVID-19 pandemic and a beacon of light for the economic recovery of industries, including aviation, which has been impacted significantly since Malaysia’s borders closed two years ago.
He added that the group will work closely with the relevant authorities to reinstate flights that have been temporarily suspended and also increase frequency of flights to key markets, with hopes to achieve approximately 70% of its pre-COVID capacity by the end of 2022.