Malaysia considers full reopening in March to vaccinated travellers

Malaysia's capital Kula Lumpur. Photo via Wikipedia.

Following moves from other Southeast Asian countries, like Thailand, to gradually reopen borders, Malaysia is considering a full reopening of borders starting March 1, allowing vaccinated travellers to enter without mandatory quarantine requirements. The plan is to speed up the country’s economic recovery, according to its coronavirus recovery council today.

The Southeast Asian country that shut down its borders in March 2020 has recently allowed Singaporeans to enter without quarantine as part of a bilateral agreement. A government advisory body said travellers would be subjected to Covid-19 screening prior to departure and upon arrival.

“This means tourists can visit, investors can enter… It means AirAsia can fly again, as an example.”

Coronavirus infections in Malaysia have risen to their highest level in four months in recent weeks, which officials say is due to the spread of the Omicron variant. A total of 13,944 new infections were reported today, bringing the total number of cases to over 2.9 million, with more than 32,000 deaths – one of Asia’s highest fatality and infection rates per capita.

However, the majority of the cases were asymptomatic or moderate which the country’s health ministry owes to the country’s high vaccination rate. Around 98% of Malaysia’s adult population has received two vaccine doses and more than half of a booster shot. Approximately 89% of children aged 12 to 17 have been vaccinated, with children aged 5 to 11 receiving their first dose last week.

SOURCE: Reuters

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