PETALING JAYA: With Malaysia now allowing its citizens to travel abroad, there is a growing list of countries that wanderlust Malaysians can head to which have opened up their borders to immunised travellers.
Although MyTravelPass requirements for Malaysians travelling abroad have been scrapped, Malaysian Association of Tour and Travel Agents president Datuk Tan Kok Liang reminded travellers that this still depended on other countries’ travel restrictions.
He said MATTA welcomed the abolishment of the pass, noting that it was a natural step as the country moved towards treating Covid-19 as endemic.
“We are preparing for the eventual lifting of further travel restrictions. At the moment, international travellers for leisure tourism are still not allowed into Malaysia.
“For Malaysians on outbound tours, it is very much dependent on other countries’ travel restrictions.
“With the 14-day quarantine back in Malaysia, leisure tourism will be challenging unless, of course, there is a need due to business or other important matters,” he said.
The United States, England, France, Finland, Egypt, Qatar, Maldives, Iceland, United Arab Emirates and Turkey are among the countries that are either quarantine-free for those vaccinated or do not require quarantine for anyone regardless of vaccination status, as long as travellers can provide a negative Covid-19 test result.
According to the US Embassy in Malaysia, all airline passengers to the US aged two years and older should provide a negative Covid-19 viral test taken within three days of travel or documentation from a licensed healthcare provider of having recovered from Covid-19 in the 90 days preceding travel.
In England, fully vaccinated travellers have to complete a passenger locator form 48 hours before arriving and take a Covid-19 test on or before day two of arrival.
For those not fully vaccinated, a Covid-19 test must be taken three days before travelling to England and another two Covid-19 tests on day two and day eight of arrival.
Unvaccinated travellers will also have to complete a passenger locator form 48 hours before arriving in England and upon arrival, 10 days of home quarantine is required.
The French Embassy in Malaysia, meanwhile, has stated that the MySejahtera certificate is recognised in France and that immunised travellers are not required to have compelling reasons for travel, take a test prior to boarding or on arrival, or undergo quarantine.
For those unvaccinated or partially vaccinated, France requires travellers to show compelling reasons, a negative PCR test less than 72 hours before boarding or a negative antigen test less than 48 hours prior, as well as seven days of self-isolation upon arrival.
For travels to Turkey, arrivals must submit a negative PCR test taken within 72 hours of departure, unless they have a certificate showing they were vaccinated at least 14 days before arrival.
Tourists to Dubai in the UAE must present a negative PCR test result at the departure airport and might be tested again on arrival at Dubai’s airport. If the test result is negative, there is no need for quarantine.
As for Asia, popular holiday spots such as Bali, India, Thailand and Vietnam have announced reopening plans as early as this month.
For India, tourists arriving by chartered flight will be able to do so from Oct 15 while other arrivals will be permitted from Nov 15.
Bali will also start welcoming arrivals from a select number of countries from Oct 14, with every traveller required to have proof of booking a hotel for quarantine for a minimum of eight days.
It has been reported that Thailand will waive its mandatory quarantine requirement in Bangkok and nine regions, including popular tourist areas such as Chiang Mai, Phangnga, Krabi, Hua Hin, Pattaya, and Cha-am to vaccinated travellers from Nov 1, following the successful reopening of Phuket and Samui islands to vaccinated people under pilot schemes since July.
Vietnam, which aims to fully reopen in June 2022, is planning to open key tourist destinations to vaccinated visitors from countries deemed low Covid-19 risks from December, after plans to reopen the resort island of Phu Quoc for vaccinated travellers next month.
In Australia, international borders are currently closed and entry to Australia remains restricted. Travel to Australia is only available if a traveller is exempted or has been granted an individual exemption.
Similarly, entry to New Zealand from all countries remains strictly controlled.
In Japan, Malaysians face similar restrictions where travelling for holidaying purposes is currently still not allowed.
South Korea has also not opened up travel for foreign visitors except those who need to attend a funeral of an immediate family member or those who need to visit an immediate family member.
Meanwhile, Malaysia Airlines assured its customers that they could enjoy their holidays worry- free with the airline’s enhanced safety and health protocols across multiple touchpoints at airports and on board its planes.
“Among the measures in place are mandatory usage of face masks, frequent aircraft disinfection and early replacement of aircraft HEPA filters to ensure an effective air circulation system capable of filtering out 99.97% of micro-organisms onboard.
“Passengers will also receive complimentary hygiene kits which come with a non-surgical face mask, a sachet of hand sanitiser and sanitary wipes and be served by a fully vaccinated crew.
“This is in line with the airline’s Fly Confidently campaign,” said the airline in a statement.
In preparation for the full resumption of its domestic and subsequently international flight services, AirAsia Malaysia has also made it mandatory for only completely vaccinated adult passengers to be allowed to board its flights.
Guests under the age of 18, if unvaccinated or partially vaccinated, must be accompanied by fully vaccinated parents or guardians.
AirAsia Malaysia chief executive officer Riad Asmat said AirAsia was also taking the lead by making check-in via the airasia Super App mandatory for all guests.
“Apart from allowing for instant health document verification through its integration with MySejahtera, this process will also allow guests to pass through the airport clearance and boarding process with an e-Boarding Pass that will significantly reduce physical interaction and paper contact, a key preventive measure in curtailing the spread of Covid-19 and other viruses,” he said in a statement yesterday.-The Star