Malaysia is to allow from Tuesday (March 15) quarantine-free air travel to and from respectively neighbouring Thailand to the north, and Cambodia to the northeast. The routes will be available for a limited daily quota of individuals who are fully-vaccinated against Covid-19.
A press release from Malaysia’s Ministry of Transport said the move was “part of our joint efforts to reopen international borders”.
Malaysia’s vaccinated travel lane for air services with Thailand, will permit designated airlines from both countries to operate up to six flights daily between Kuala Lumpur and the Thai capital Bangkok. Additionally, up to four flights daily will be allowed for the Kuala Lumpur route with the Thai holiday island of Phuket. More routes may be added, “subject to mutual agreement by both countries,” said Malaysia.
The arrangement with Cambodia will mean designated airlines from both countries will be allowed to operate up to two flights daily between Kuala Lumpur and the Cambodian capital Phnom Penh route. Additional routes may be added, “subject to market demand,” said Malaysia.
Additionally, it was reported on Thursday by local media – citing the ministry – that the nation would from Monday (March 14) up its daily quota of vaccinated people allowed to use the causeway crossing into neighbouring Singapore to the south, by nearly 60 percent, from 2,160 to 3,420.
Malaysia and Singapore respectively refer to such quarantine-free travel routes as “vaccinated travel lanes”.
The news comes as Malaysia plans fully to reopen to vaccinated foreigners from April 1, subject to them being tested before and after arrival. Most of those in Malaysia’s 32.7-million population deemed suitable for vaccination have now had their jabs, according to government data.
The nation had been closed to foreign tourists for an extended period, after a ban on inbound travel was first imposed in March 2020.
Before pandemic-related travel restrictions, foreign visitors had – according to investment analysts – been an important component in the earnings of Resorts World Genting, Malaysia’s only casino complex. The property is run by Genting Malaysia Bhd.
Management from the casino firm had said in a presentation at the Nomura ASEAN Virtual Conference 2022 on March 4, that operational capacity at Resorts World Genting was being built up in anticipation of eased inbound travel to Malaysia. The commentary had been reported by that country’s Edge Markets business news outlet.
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