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Malaysia minister on travel with Singapore, reopening to tourists

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Malaysia has announced that it will reopen its borders to tourists from abroad in November. CNBC reports that visitors from Singapore and neighboring countries could soon be permitted into Malaysia.

Nancy Shukri, the minister, stated that she will be meeting with officials from Singapore next Wednesday to discuss resumed cross-border travel between both countries. She stated that Malaysia would soon open up to Singapore.

Nancy shared that “We are open (to] Singapore so long as Singapore opens to us as well,” CNBC’s Nancy explained.Street Signs Asia“, Thursday.

As long as Singapore remains open, we are happy to open our doors (to) Singapore.

Nancy Shukri

Malaysia’s Minister for Tourism, Arts and Culture

The minister was asked by a reporter when an agreement with Singapore would be reached. She stated that she is “very optimistic” it will happen before November.

CNBC tried to reach the Singapore government, but was unsuccessful.

In the days before the Covid-19 epidemic, over 300,000 people used the Malaysia-Singapore land borders to cross the border. However, the most popular international air route linking Singapore with Malaysia’s capital Kuala Lumpur was that between the two cities.

Currently, Malaysian citizens working in Singapore, and Singapore citizens working in Malaysia can cross the land border under a bilateral arrangement — called the Periodic Commuting Arrangement — if they meet certain requirements.

The only people permitted to enter Malaysia are its citizens, diplomatic passport holders, and immigration officials with their approval. A seven-day quarantine must be completed for all arrivals if they have been fully vaccinated. It will take 10 days for those with partial or no vaccinations.  

In the meantime, Singapore has opened up quarantine-free travel — with conditions — to vaccinated travelers from some countries such as the U.S. and the U.K. — but not to those from Malaysia.

Based on Covid transmission risk, Singapore divides countries into four groups and adjusts its border controls accordingly. Malaysia has been placed in the category IV. This includes areas deemed to be at highest risk.

Malaysia not left behind

Nancy, the Minister, stated that Malaysia’s Tourism Ministry has suggested to the government to let fully-vaccinated foreign visitors to Langkawi Island Resort from next month.

Nancy said that while Nancy had already stated what she’d proposed, they will need to wait until the government’s announcement. We hope they will accept it from there…we’re optimistic they’ll agree with that.”  

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Other countries nearby include Thailand, Singapore, and IndonesiaInternational visitors have had some restrictions lifted. Nancy stated that Malaysia isn’t going to let down.

“We observe what countries do and look for where we can be integrated, trying to ensure that we don’t fall behind,” she stated.

The minister advised people to be cautious while moving around the country as Covid continues spreading. The minister said the Malaysian authorities have developed a number of preventative measures, including quarantine rules to prepare for the reopening.

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