From September, the opening of Malaysia's borders to foreign tourists has been limited

In this way, the country wants to join with neighboring Thailand, which is already letting in foreign vacationers in a controlled manner to rescue a tourism industry in crisis.

Vietnam has also announced a similar plan that faces the largest wave of coronavirus infections to date. Nancy Shukri said in a statement on Saturday that Malaysia plans to open resorts in Langkawi, Pangkor, Redang, Tioman and the Perhentian Islands from September.

By the end of August, most islanders will be vaccinated against the coronavirus, ensuring the residents’ resilience. It is not yet known which countries will be allowed to enter Malaysia if the planned pilot program is implemented, and what conditions the tourists will have to meet.

The tourism ministry only said it was consulting with industry representatives, including the Malaysian Hoteliers Association, travel agents and spa salons. In consultation with them, the so-called Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) – the rules under which the tourism industry will be able to operate in conditions of risk of new waves of COVID-19.

– The Minister indicated that the decision to reopen the tourism sector should be taken after in-depth studies and with great caution to prevent the outbreak of the disease (another wave), which may force the sector to close again.

In 2019, about 26 million foreign tourists visited Malaysia, who spent 86.14 billion ringgit ($21.5 billion) on the spot. International tourism has not existed since mid-March 2020, when – a few days after the World Health Organization declared a global pandemic – authorities in Kuala Lumpur almost completely closed the country’s borders.

Hotel owners and tour operators have been pleading with the government for several months to ease restrictions. According to the Malaysian Tourism Board, most of the sector’s 3.5 million workers have lost their jobs. The Malaysian Ministry of Health said on Friday that 31.1 percent had already received two doses of COVID-19 vaccines. Population. This places Malaysia in third place in the Southeast Asian region, after Singapore and Cambodia.

So far, 1.36 million coronavirus infections have been reported in a country of 32 million people; Less than 12 thousand patients died. From July, fully vaccinated tourists can visit neighboring Thailand as part of a pilot programme. However, this applies only to the islands of Phuket and Samui, where visitors are not allowed to leave for two weeks after arrival.

The islands selected under the program are isolated from the rest of the country, and more residents have been immunized there than in other regions. In all of Thailand, about 7% of both doses of MERS-CoV were received. population. In many places, including the capital, Bangkok, there are social and economic restrictions and curfews.

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Vietnamese authorities announced a trial opening for foreign tourists in June. In the fall, they want to allow foreigners to visit the island of Phu Quek, having previously vaccinated all its inhabitants. However, since May, the country has faced the largest wave of cases since the start of the Covid-19 epidemic, and the largest cities have been closed for weeks and a curfew imposed.

Vietnam’s Covid-19 vaccination campaign is progressing more slowly across Southeast Asia. To date, only about 1.2% have been fully vaccinated. Population.

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