World

Malaysia lifts interstate, overseas travel for vaccinated residents

It has inoculated 90 per cent of adult population, will allow them to go across states and overseas

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia yesterday lifted interstate and international travel restrictions for residents fully vaccinated against Covid-19, as the country achieved its target of inoculating 90 per cent of its adult population.

Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob said the government has agreed to allow fully vaccinated Malaysians to go overseas without applying for permission.

The new rules take effect today, Reuters reported.

The government is preparing to shift into an endemic Covid-19 phase where it will not impose wide lockdowns again if cases rise, Mr Ismail told a news conference.

"We have to train ourselves to live with Covid, because Covid may not be eliminated fully," he said.

Nearly 65 per cent of the 32 million population, including those aged 12 to 17, were fully vaccinated as of Saturday.

The country has recorded 2.3 million infections and 27,265 deaths from Covid-19 so far.

Mr Ismail said that travellers upon returning to Malaysia must undergo a mandatory 14-day quarantine.

He added that this does not mean Malaysian borders have been reopened for international tourism, The Star reported.

"Studies are still ongoing and God willing, we might make an announcement as soon as possible."

LOW-RISK COUNTRIES

He said the government is currently evaluating countries that have low virus risks.

"Now, most countries in the world have vaccinated their people, and this new development will be considered by the Health Ministry as it decides to reopen our international borders, he added.

Mr Ismail said the decision to allow international travel among Malaysians is to connect separated family members and loved ones.

"It is also for Malaysians who are heading overseas for working and business purposes."

Meanwhile, Mr Ismail advised Malaysians who are not yet vaccinated to do so quickly.

"Many of the announced relaxations, such as interstate travel, domestic and international travel and dining in are all subjected to a term that one must be fully vaccinated.

"Travellers must also do a swab test three days before returning to Malaysia and another swab test upon arriving in Malaysia.

"For Malaysians, self-quarantine at home is allowed. If there are cases, the Health Ministry will then place them at quarantine centres," he added.

At the same time, he warned that those who violate standard operating procedures can be fined.

"We must not take this lightly.

"This is important in the government's efforts to reopen the economy and its preparation towards the endemic phase, also known as #ReopeningSafely."

WORLD