Tuesday, May 17, 2022

Be reasonable about Covid test fees at airports

This is not the time to make extra money with exorbitant charges.

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The authorities should seriously look at scrapping the need for Covid-19 tests for arriving passengers at international airports across the country who have gone through the mandatory test 48 hours before departure.

Singapore, Indonesia and the Philippines have either stopped testing for arriving air passengers or have voiced the need to do so.

This should be a mutual agreement among the three countries to simplify and make it convenient for arriving passengers.

Travellers who have done pre-departure tests should not be compelled to do another test on arrival. Arriving passengers just want to clear immigration, pick up their luggage, and head home.

Back-to-back Covid-19 tests will only discourage foreigners from looking at Malaysia as a holiday destination. The reason is extra expenditure.

Malaysian carriers and tour operators will also be on the losing end.

Another issue is the disparity in charges for Malaysians and foreigners.

A professional RTK-Antigent (nasal) test costs RM100 for Malaysians and RM160 for foreigners.

The Reverse Transcription Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR) test meanwhile costs RM250 for Malaysians and RM350 for international arrivals.

The Rapid RT-PCR test costs RM370 and RM470.

I am not a medical professional but I would like to say that the charges should be standardised for Malaysians and international travellers.

Another issue is what the arriving passengers would pay compared to what clinics in the city would charge.

The world has suffered through the past two years. The pandemic literally brought travel to a complete halt.

Businesses including airlines and tour operators have suffered huge losses, with some even pulling the curtains down.

People have suffered financially, too.

Please be more reasonable with the charges if back-to-back testing is made mandatory.

Have more than one service provider at the KLIA main terminal and klia2 so that arriving passengers will not be kept waiting too long.

This is not the time to make extra money with exorbitant charges.

The views expressed in this article are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the position of MalaysiaNow.

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