Asia Malaysia Updated: Malaysia border opening moved to April 1

Updated: Malaysia border opening moved to April 1

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Malaysia PM Ismail Sabri Yaakob, yesterday said that the country’s borders will reopen on April 1.

“With this, Malaysian citizens with valid travel documents can enter and leave the country as they did before the pandemic,” he said in a press conference in Parliament.

“We believe that our tourism sector, which has been affected by this closure, will be able to operate fully once again,” he said.

Meanwhile, Malaysia’s Minister of Tourism, Nancy Shukri, had stated that the land route between Malaysia and Singapore through the Johor Causeway and the Second Link will be opened concurrently with the country’s removal of the COVID-19 border control.
She then said the PM will soon announce the opening of the country’s border to international tourism and regular flights.
Last Saturday, Sabri said the country’s border would reopen soon. This move would allow Malaysians who had not seen each other for a long time to return home, especially for the Aidilfitri, which will be celebrated in May.
Shukri stated that this will make it easier for Singaporeans to travel to Malaysia, therefore boosting the country’s tourist economy, which had been severely impacted by the Covid-19 outbreak.

 

“The Tourism, Arts and Culture Ministry is ready and always prepared (to receive tourists from abroad),” she told reporters after a meeting with industry players.

In February, Sabri said he is confident that Malaysia can implement the land Vaccinated Travel Lane (VTL) by May this year.

He stated that the Health Ministry will be exploring many VTL options with neighboring nations such as Singapore, Thailand, and Brunei.

“The air VTL is easier to implement compared to land VTL as travellers arriving at airports can be quickly screened . However, we need to avoid creating long queues of vehicles when conducting screenings at land entry points.

“We have given several proposals to the Health Ministry to find the best way to facilitate and expedite the implementation of the land VTL. I would like to stress that this matter can be settled before Hari Raya [this year],” he told a press conference on Feb 26.

Johor worst hit

Former Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin, campaign for his coalition the Perikatan Nasional in Johor says the state was the worst hit by the COVID-19 lockdowns.

According to him, the border restriction has resulted in the loss of revenue for around 300,000 Johor residents who go to Singapore for employment.

“I do not know what happened to them now. Are they facing challenges of getting on with life and putting food on their table?

“This is the problem that we need to address,” said the former prime minister at a dialogue session, here today.

According to Muhyiddin, the reopening of the border will allow Malaysia to collect more than RM80 billion in income from viable industries, with more than 28 million international visitors anticipated to visit the country.

AIR VTL

Beginning March 16, the VTL via air between Malaysia and Singapore will be expanded to include service on the Penang-Singapore route.

Datuk Seri Wee Ka Siong, Malaysia’s Transport Minister, stated in a statement last week that the Malaysian and Singaporean governments have achieved an agreement on the extension of the VTL venture.

“This VTL initiative will allow fully vaccinated travellers from between Penang and Singapore and vice-versa with participating airlines under the VTL without being required to quarantine upon arrival,” he said.

“The sale of VTL air tickets will begin as soon as possible,” he said.

Wee stated that the Penang-Singapore VTL will begin with four flights per day divided evenly between the Malaysian and Singaporean carriers.

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