Government AffairsBut there's a catch: Easing of restrictions apply to selected states only.

In Malaysia, travel perks go to the fully vaccinated

By
|
Residents in Kuala Lumpur (pictured) and Selangor have drawn the short straw when it comes to vaccine privileges as they are still under lockdown.
Residents in Kuala Lumpur (pictured) and Selangor have drawn the short straw when it comes to vaccine privileges as they are still under lockdown. Photo Credit: Getty Images/alex cheong

Fully vaccinated individuals can now enjoy more freedom and ease of movement in Malaysia, including dining at restaurants, travelling across states, and quarantine at home upon their return from abroad.

Malaysia Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin on Sunday announced the easing of restrictions for those fully vaccinated, which took effect from Tuesday, 10 August 2021, to transition the country from the state of pandemic to accepting Covid-19 as an endemic.

However, these perks currently apply for states and territories under Phase 2 or above of the National Recovery Plan, leaving out a significant part of the country that are still under Phase 1 ⁠— namely Selangor, Kuala Lumpur, Putrajaya, Negeri Sembilan, Kedah, Johor and Melaka.

As such, "the move in its current form will not have a major positive impact on domestic tourism as the majority of domestic travellers are from the greater Klang Valley area,” said Nigel Wong, Honorary Secretary General of the Malaysian Association of Tour and Travel Agents (MATTA).

Klang Valley, of which Selangor and Kuala Lumpur are a part of, continues to see a high number of daily Covid-19 infections. Daily infections for the country have been hovering between 17,000 to 20,000 cases the past few weeks.

While welcoming the government's latest move as a more practical and eventual return to some semblance of normality, Wong also urged for the establishment of a nationwide standard for fully vaccinated individuals.

Fully-vaccinated individuals should be allowed to travel more freely inter-state, said Wong, as there are currently too many layers of complexity and often frustrating restrictions.

The Malaysian Association of Hotels (MAH), in a statement, also concurred with MATTA's call to reinstate inter-district and inter-state travel.

Many member hotels under MAH have also been certified by its Clean & Safe Malaysia certification label, and the overall high compliance of SOPs by hotels is an added assurance to the general public that it is safe to dine and stay in.

JDS Travel News JDS Viewpoints JDS Africa/MI