Malaysia To Reopen Borders in Time for Christmas

Malaysia has been one country that has been completely closed off to the rest of the world throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, with even its internal state borders closed and only heavy cargo being moved across the bridged border with Singapore.

Now the Southeast Asian country is looking to reopen to international tourists before the end of the year – if they can get their adult vaccination rate up to 90 percent.

While that number may look like a pipe dream to many countries, Malaysia’s accelerated vaccine rollout sees the population currently sitting at a very healthy 87.2 % adult vaccination rate while over 94.3% of the adult population has received their first dose.

Malay dancersWith 44,145,505 vaccinations administered, at the current rate — which is one of the fastest in Asia — it will take approximately 22 days to vaccinate another ten percent of the entire population, putting their 90% threshold in very probable sight of less than a week.

The Prime Minister of Malaysia, Ismail Sabri Yaakob gave a cautious interview with local media, declaring December is possible, but not guaranteed at this stage. He also assured the country that the state borders will be the first to open so Malaysians can travel freely throughout their country before international tourism starts up once more.

Sabri Yaakob confirmed that the target is to reopen all economic and social sectors by the final quarter of the year.

Tourist-boats-at LangkawiThe one area of Malaysia that has opened- strictly to vaccinated, domestic tourists is the island of Langkawi which sits northwest of Malaysian capital, Kuala Lumpur, in the Malacca Straight

Along with their proof of vaccine, visitors to Langkawi must show a negative PCR test taken no more than 48 hours before arriving- a trend that will likely continue for international visitors once the island and the rest of the nation opens up.

Malaysia was very successful in keeping Covid-19 at bay throughout the first waves, with cases in the country only hitting the double digits. The Delta variant, however, hit hard with an average of 22,000 daily cases in August. There has been a steady decline since. In only 6 weeks the daily average has almost halved to 11,910

Malaysia for Christmas? Here we come!

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Nicola Barton

Nicola's dream was to visit all 7 continents and did so by her 40th birthday. However she knows there are still hundreds of places to explore and is packing her suitcase as we speak!

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