Malaysia Opens Borders: Since the starting of 2022, all of us have heard of a few countries making plans to open their borders to international tourists. Among these countries, there’s Malaysia too. But the majority of people are still confused about Malaysia opening borders. And the headlines of newspapers have left us more baffled. But the good news is that Malaysia is about to ease travel restrictions and open the borders for tourists on April 1, 2022. You will find the latest announcement about Malaysia’s open borders by the end of this article.
Old Announcement About Malaysia’s Open Borders
Headlines like- ‘Malaysia opens borders in March’ are only clickbait with no proper news. PM Ismail Sabri Yaakob says, “As of today, our borders are still closed… there’s no discussion yet to reopen.” After such a statement by the PM himself, I see no confusion on the matter of Malaysia’s open borders.
Then where did all the news of Malaysia’s open borders come from? In a press conference held on February 8, the chairman of Malaysia’s National Recovery Council (NRC), Muhyiddin Yassin, proposed the opening of borders of Malaysia as early as March 1. It was a proposal made by the National Recovery Council (NRC) to recover the country economically. According to the proposal, after Malaysia opens borders, tourists can enter the country without mandatory quarantine. However, COVID-19 testing before departure and upon arrival at the border is a must.
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The final decision of Malaysia opening borders is yet to be made after the Health Ministry looks deeply into the matter and proposes the next step. “It’s important for Malaysia to open borders for international tourists to make the tourism industry survive. But the protection of the health of Malaysians is equally important”, said PM Ismail.
The Ministry is going through a tough time to make a proper decision regarding Malaysia opening borders by maintaining a balance between the survival of the tourism industry and the protection of the health of Malaysian citizens. It is notable here that, if they choose to open the borders, tourists from all the countries will be able to visit Malaysia without the need for a mandatory quarantine.
Since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, Malaysia’s tourism industry has plummeted. The consequences of the pandemic were worse for those who work in the tourism industry. Some of their livelihood entirely depends on this industry, so it is becoming hard for them to survive right now. That’s why a decision must be taken about Malaysia’s open borders as soon as possible.
Last November, the Ministry opened Singapore-Malaysia land borders based on a vaccinated travel lane (VTL) agreement. So, Singaporeans have been travelling to Malaysia since then without a mandatory quarantine.
Around 99% of Malaysian adults have been vaccinated, and more than half of them have received booster shots. Yet, around 13,944 new infections were reported as of February 8. Overall, more than 2.9 million cases were recorded in Malaysia, with over 32,000 deaths.
Looking at the infection rate and death rate of Malaysians due to Covid-19, the border opening of the country looks like a threat. However, for the revival of the economy and survival of the tourism industry, opening the borders of Malaysia is also important. The Ministry might be under so much perplexity right now. All we can do is wait for the final decision regarding Malaysia’s open borders and hope for the best.
The Latest Announcement About Malaysia’s Open Borders
According to the latest announcement made by PM Ismail Sabri, Malaysia’s borders will open on April 1, 2022. International tourists will be able to enter Malaysia with valid travel documents, and Malaysians will be able to travel freely to other countries with open borders.
Updated S.O.P After Malaysia Opens Borders
For the safety of residents and travellers, some mandatory steps have to be strictly followed. Vaccinated tourists won’t need to undergo any quarantine in Malaysia. But you have to take an RT-PCR test two days before your departure and a professional COVID-19 rapid antigen test within 24 hours after you arrive in the country. So, the opening of Malaysian borders is a piece of great news for everyone who has been planning to travel outside the country for a long time.
Other than that, at the same press conference on 8th March, PM Ismail Sabri lifted the S.O.P of physical distancing in mosques and other religious venues, extended business operating hours, and removed the rule of 50% capacity limit on large gatherings. However, the one S.O.P that still remains intact is the wearing of face masks in public places. Though physical distancing is not mandatory, it is highly recommended for the safety of all.