Malaysia is the latest Asian country to remove all testing and Covid insurance requirements for fully vaccinated travellers, joining Singapore and Thailand in ending over two years of stringent pandemic-era border controls.
The country will scrap mandatory pre-departure and on-arrival tests for all incoming vaccinated travellers as of May 1.
Insurance with a minimum coverage of US$20,000 for potential Covid-related treatment will no longer be a must-have.
Once they reach Malaysia, travellers will find that wearing masks outdoors will be optional, although they must be worn indoors unless sitting alone, exercising or eating or drinking.
“The healthcare system is recovering and Covid-19 hospital admissions as well as intensive care unit occupancy is falling,” Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin said in a media briefing on Wednesday.
“The success is also a result of the people’s awareness on the importance of observing the government’s preventive measures.”
More than 26 million international tourists visited Malaysia in 2019, with popular destinations including the Nonya food and street art mecca of Penang, the island paradise of Langkawi and the bustling capital of Kuala Lumpur all drawing big crowds.
Malaysia Airlines continues to rebuild its Australia schedule, with the Oneworld member and Qantas partner already scheduling flights from Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth to Kuala Lumpur.
All cities but Perth feature Malaysia Airlines’ Airbus A330s, with fully lie-flat beds in business class; the shorter six-hour hop between the WA capital and KL is handed over to a single-aisle Boeing 737.
As previously reported, Malaysia has also rebooted its Malaysia My Second Home (MM2H) scheme which aims to attract well-to-do foreigners and expat retirees, but with tough new eligibility requirements for income and assets.
Additional reporting by Bloomberg