Nearly two years after a rushed and economically painful closure, Malaysia plans to reopen its borders to international travelers on December 1.
Once the vaccination rate of Malaysian adults reaches 90%, the Prime Minister will permit international travelers to enter the country. Epidemiologists estimate this will happen by December 1.
First, the country will ease restrictions on travel within Malaysia’s states. If the domestic reopening goes off without a hitch and the vaccination rate reaches the target goal, travelers from around the world will return to this tropical paradise.
Authorities opened Langkawi to domestic travelers in September. Travelers must provide proof of a negative COVID-19 PCR or antigen test within 48 hours of departure.
Epidemiologists and economists express cautious enthusiasm about the return of international travelers.
As of October 4, 69.1% of all Malaysian residents have been fully vaccinated. About 87.2% of Malaysian adults have completed their vaccination series.
More than 94% of Malaysian citizens have received at least one dose of an approved COVID-19 vaccine. The nation maintains the fastest rate of vaccination in Asia.
Health scientists estimate that it will take 22 days for Malaysia to reach its 90% vaccination goal.
During the first six months of 2020, Malaysia recorded fewer than 100 COVID-19 cases. However, the delta variant struck the nation with a vengeance.
The seven-day average of cases soared past 22,000 in August. As of now, the seven-day average for COVID-19 cases stands at just under 12,000. That’s a 45% drop from just six weeks ago.
Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, nearly all of Southeast Asia shut down to international travel. Authorities also placed stringent restrictions on domestic travel.
These early efforts protected vulnerable health systems. Now that supply chains and health systems have had time to recover, economists and politicians are ready to reopen their borders.