As the nation sees the benefits of getting vaccinated, efforts to boost the country’s economy are being put into action as well.
Langkawi Island was chosen as a pilot project to reopen to local tourists on Malaysia Day, 16 September with specific SOPs set into place, as announced by tourism Minister, Datuk Seri Nancy Shukri. However, local tourists who want to travel to Langkawi Island will still need to apply for permission from the police as reported by Astro Awani.
According to the minister, Langkawi can be visited by tourists nationwide as long as they abide by the standard operating procedures (SOPs). This includes those in states under Phase 1 of the National Rehabilitation Plan (PPN). However, this does not apply to those in the Enhanced Movement Control Order (EMCO) areas.
Travel to Langkawi is limited for individuals that have completed two doses of vaccination. Among the SOPs that fully vaccinated visitors need to abide by during their vacations include making accommodation bookings or admission tickets in advance. Tour package vacations must only be booked through travel companies licensed and registered with the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture (MOTAC).
The number of passengers per vehicle during the journey is subject to the capacity of the car, and visitors are required to show proof of purchase documents of tourism packages when applying for permission with the police and when required by the SOP compliance enforcer.
Moreover, Nancy also said that there is no age limit set to enter Langkawi, and individuals under the age of 18 must travel together with their guardian that is fully vaccinated. At the same time, insurance coverage and the Covid-19 screening are not mandatory as well.
“To ensure the programme runs smoothly and to safeguard Keluarga Malaysia on the whole, MOTAC will monitor the implementation of this tourism bubble in Langkawi and will obtain holistic feedback from the community about this programme within a period of two weeks.”
“The feedback would be evaluated and submitted to the National Safety Council (MKN) for further consideration, such as the opening of more tourist destinations identified in line with MOTAC’s aspirations,” she said.