Malaysia Covid Panel Recommends Reopening of Border in March

As part of attempts to speed up economic recovery, Malaysia’s coronavirus recovery council announced on Tuesday that it has suggested a full reopening of borders as early as March 1 without enforced quarantine for travelers.

To combat further coronavirus epidemics, the Southeast Asian nation has closed its borders and halted the entry of foreign employees since March 2020.

Thailand, the Philippines, and Singapore, among others, have waived quarantine regulations in order to attract vaccinated travelers. Thailand announced on Monday that it is interested in forming travel bubbles with Malaysia and China.

Former premier and chairperson of the National Recovery Council (NRC), a government advisory body, Muhyiddin Yassin, said travelers would be subjected to COVID-19 screening prior to departure and upon arrival.

“Tourists will be able to visit, and investors will be able to invest… It means, for example, that AirAsia can fly again “he said during a press conference, referring to Malaysia’s low-cost carrier.

As part of a bilateral agreement, Malaysia currently permits Singaporeans to enter without quarantine. Daily coronavirus infections in Malaysia have risen to their highest level in four months in recent weeks, thanks to the Omicron type.

It reported 13,944 new infections on Tuesday, bringing the total number of cases to over 2.9 million, with over 32,000 deaths, making it one of Asia’s highest fatality and infection rates per capita.

Due to Malaysia’s high immunization coverage, the majority of the cases were asymptomatic or moderate, according to the health ministry. Approximately 98 percent of Malaysia’s adult population has received two vaccine doses and more than half of a booster shot. Approximately 89 percent of youngsters aged 12 to 17 have been vaccinated, while inoculations for children aged 5 to 11 began last week.

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