Malaysia eyes international border reopening in December

Malaysia eyes international border reopening in December

Visitors wearing protective masks look at giant panda Yi Yi at the National Zoo, which re-opened after lockdown, amid the coronavirus disease outbreak in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, on Friday. (Reuters photo)
Visitors wearing protective masks look at giant panda Yi Yi at the National Zoo, which re-opened after lockdown, amid the coronavirus disease outbreak in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, on Friday. (Reuters photo)

Malaysia is looking to reopen its borders to foreign travel in December once 90% of its adult population is fully vaccinated.

“Yes, December is possible” though “it’s still too early at the moment,” Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob said in an interview with local media in Kuala Lumpur. “We will open the state borders first before allowing international travel.”

Criticised at one point for its pandemic management amid political infighting, Malaysia’s accelerated vaccine rollout has since allowed the government to gradually ease restrictions on movement and allow benefits for the fully inoculated. As of Saturday, 87.2% of the adult population had been fully vaccinated, the nation’s Special Committee on Covid-19 Vaccine Supply said on Twitter on Sunday. Meanwhile, 94.3% of the adult population had received the first dose.

The rollout has put the government on course to reach its target of reopening all economic and social sectors by the final quarter of the year. Malaysia’s parliament is set to consider bills in the second week of October that include raising the debt limit to 65% of gross domestic product from the current 60%, and increasing its Covid-19 fund to 110 billion ringgit (883 billion baht) from the current 65 billion. 

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