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Malaysia eyes border reopening by Jan 1

National Recovery Council chairman Muhyiddin Yassin says infection control measures will remain in place, with entry determined based on the situation in originating countries.

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Malaysia's borders have remained largely closed since the start of the pandemic.
Malaysia's borders have remained largely closed since the start of the pandemic.

Malaysia will reopen its borders to international visitors by Jan 1 at the latest, the National Recovery Council (MPN) said today as the country seeks to revive its ailing tourism sector.

Malaysia has gradually reopened its economy in recent weeks as Covid-19 infection rates have slowed amid a ramped-up vaccination programme.

More than three-quarters of Malaysia’s 32 million population are vaccinated, government statistics show.

Former prime minister Muhyiddin Yassin, who chairs the MPN, told reporters the tourism industry was recovering too slowly without foreigners and noted that operators needed time to resume businesses.

Muhyiddin, however, said infection control measures such as Covid-19 tests will remain in place, with authorities to determine entry based on the Covid-19 situation in originating countries, and other factors.

He did not state when a firm date for reopening will be announced, but said the decision was still being detailed by health and security agencies.

Malaysia this week announced it would launch a vaccinated travel lane with neighbouring Singapore on Nov 29, allowing quarantine-free travel for inoculated people between both countries.

It has also agreed with Indonesia to introduce a similar travel corridor on a gradual basis.