Malaysia reopens borders


Lazy days on Malaysia's idyllic Perhentian Islands.


Malaysia reopens its borders next month. The country will fully reopen on April 1, according to an announcement this week by prime minister Ismael Sabri.


From this date, arrivals will no longer be subjected to quarantine as long as they are fully vaccinated, a policy that follows in the footsteps of neighbouring Southeast Asian countries including Singapore, Thailand, Cambodia, Philippines, Vietnam and Indonesia, who have all waived quarantine for fully vaccinated arrivals.


Malaysia slammed its borders shut in 2020 in a bid to stop the spread of Covid-19 and has maintained tight entrance restrictions ever since.


The country’s MyTravelPass app will be replaced with the MySejahtera contact tracing app under the new, looser regulations and travellers must also complete a pre-departure form within the contact tracing app.


Some regulations will remain in place, however, and all arrivals must take a PCR test within 48 hours of departure. An antigen rapid test must also be taken within 24 hours of arrival and this must be professionally administered, either at the airport or hotel.


Travellers who are not fully vaccinated or who are unvaccinated will be subject to a five-day quarantine, cut from the current ten-day requirement.


Vaccine exemption proof must be uploaded to the MySejahtera app which will then be evaluated by the Health Ministry before an official health exemption is applied.


Children under the age of 17 will be automatically granted quarantine-free entry regardless of vaccination status. However, they must take the PCR departure and rapid antigen arrival tests as required for all adult travellers.


Vaccinated travellers who arrive in Malaysia in the last week of March will be released from quarantine on April 1; they are currently required to isolate for up to seven days.


Meanwhile, fully vaccinated travellers over the border from Singapore can also enter Malaysia quarantine-free from April 1. However, they will remain subject to Singapore’s regulations on their return if they are not travelling via Vaccinated Travel Lane.


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