The PCR test monopoly in Malaysian airports will soon end as more companies will be able to offer the service. This was revealed by Deputy Health Minister Dr. Noor Azmi Ghazali, who said that Malaysia Airports Holdings Berhad (MAHB) has already begun a new procurement process by tender to identify additional companies that will perform the screening tests.
Currently, BP Healthcare is the sole provider for PCR tests at KLIA and KLIA2. Noor Azmi said that this was not determined by the Ministry of Health, but rather, the company was appointed by MAHB through open tender, with the charges for the tests already agreed upon.
The deputy minister didn’t say exactly when we’ll see these other companies start operating screening tests in airports, but said that a decision will be finalised soon. PCR COVID-19 testing is mandatory for those arriving in Malaysia and free for them, while foreigners must bear the cost, though only a professional RTK-Ag test is required starting 1 April, when the country enters its endemic transition phase.
However, anyone travelling using the Air VTL is required to purchase an on-arrival PCR test in advance, which costs between RM250 to RM470 depending on whether you’re Malaysian and how long you’re willing to wait. That being said, the faster option could soon be less popular as Malaysia will implement the test and release scheme when the country reopens, which doesn’t require travellers to stay in the airport while waiting for the results.