Malaysia is finally ready to fully reopen its international borders – which have remained close for about two years due to the Covid-19 pandemic – as it enters a transitional phase into endemicity from Apr 1.

Announcing the reopening, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob said the decision to reopen the borders was made after careful deliberation on various aspects including the national vaccination programme and economy, with risk management conducted by the authorities.

He said the decision was made based on three fundamentals, namely scientific data, comparisons with the border reopening of other countries, and to provide convenience to travellers.

“Malaysia is now an open destination and can be visited by all. Travellers who have received two doses of the Covid-19 vaccine are no longer required to undergo quarantine. They are only required to undergo an RT-PCR test two days prior to travel and an RTK antigen test within 24 hours upon arrival in Malaysia.

“The health minister will announce further details tomorrow (9 March) for travellers with other vaccination statuses such as those who are unable to get vaccinated due to health reasons, or unvaccinated individuals.

“The standard operating procedures, especially on land and sea entry points, will be announced soon,” Ismail Sabri said in a press conference in Parliament.

He said for countries which have yet to fully reopen their borders, arrangements via the Vaccinated Travel Lane (VTL) could be implemented. Malaysia has initiated a VTL arrangement with Singapore, and is expected to announce further details of VTLs with Brunei, Indonesia and Thailand.

The Thai government said on 8 March that a VTL with Malaysia is scheduled to launch on 15 March.

Thailand and the Philippines began allowing foreign tourists to return starting last month.

Ismail Sabri said efforts towards the safe reopening of the borders in stages or ‘Reopening Safely’ was being carried out by the government, notably through the ministerial quartet comprising Senior Defence Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein, Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin, Finance Minister Tengku Datuk Seri Tengku Zafrul Abdul Aziz and Communications and Multimedia Minister Tan Sri Annuar Musa.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here