Malaysia lifting curbs on Thai visitors

Malaysia lifting curbs on Thai visitors

Quarantine-free entry to start March 15; Indonesia considers further opening up of Bali

Travellers arrive at Kuala Lumpur International Airport under the Malaysia-Singapore Vaccinated Travel Lane (VTL) programme, which has been in effect since October. (Reuters Photo)
Travellers arrive at Kuala Lumpur International Airport under the Malaysia-Singapore Vaccinated Travel Lane (VTL) programme, which has been in effect since October. (Reuters Photo)

Malaysia has announced the removal of curbs on travellers from Thailand and Cambodia, while Indonesia is considering a quarantine waiver for foreign visitors to Bali from next week, officials said on Saturday.

The two countries have imposed some of the strictest entry procedures in Asia to try to contain Covid-19 outbreaks and keep new variants at bay, but the restrictions have battered their tourism sectors.

The Indonesian waiver for vaccinated visitors is under discussion and is likely be decided by President Joko Widodo on Monday, said a spokesperson for the coordinating maritime affairs and investment ministry.

Jodi Mahardi said visitors from 23 countries, including Australia, the United States, Germany and the Netherlands, would qualify for a visa on arrival under revised rules.

Ida Ayu Indah Yustikarini of the Bali government tourism office also confirmed the quarantine waiver plan to Reuters but said the final decision was up to the central government.

Malaysia will allow vaccinated arrivals from Cambodia and Thailand to skip quarantine starting from March 15. Several daily flights are available between Kuala Lumpur and Phnom Penh, Bangkok and Phuket.

Malaysia has so far waived quarantine for arrivals from Singapore, while Indonesia since October has granted entry to visitors from specified countries to Bali and has progressively reduced the quarantine time to three days.

The moves follow actions by neighbours the Philippines, Vietnam and Thailand, which have waived quarantine in return for Covid testing before departure and upon arrival.


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