Prime Minister Ismail Sabri has said that once 90% of the country’s adult population has been vaccinated, international travel will resume once again alongside interstate movements. He clarified that when borders reopen, Malaysians will no longer need to apply to the immigration department for the MyTravelPass scheme to leave the country.
Sabri says that he will immediately announce the move as soon as Malaysia achieves that 90% figure, leading the country to “open up almost completely”. While initially expecting to hit the target in December, the Prime Minister said that travelling abroad might happen earlier than anticipated.
Malaysia has been slowly loosening restrictions to aid the ailing domestic tourism industry. Starting with the Langkawi travel bubble as a litmus test, the initiative was seen as a success and more locations are on track to reopen such as Pangkor Island in November and Melaka, which has allowed tourism for locals. Genting Highlands and Tioman Island travel bubbles were also planned but have since been postponed by the state government.
As part of the government’s “Reopening Safely” campaign, the immigration department earlier expanded the exemption list for those who could go overseas without prior approval. As of 4 October, more than 87% of adults have been fully vaccinated and more than half of all teenagers above 12 have received their first dose according to the national COVID-19 statistics website, COVIDNOW.