Malaysia Ends Testing for Vaccinated Travelers

Outdoor mask mandates, physical distancing rules, and general capacity limits are all being scrapped.

Kuala Lumpur’s Petronas Twin Towers at dusk. (Photo: Esmonde Yong/Unsplash)

Malaysia is following in the footsteps of nearby Singapore as it eases a range of coronavirus restrictions. At a press conference on Wednesday, Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin announced that pre-departure and on-arrival tests will no longer be required for fully vaccinated travelers from May 1. Children aged 12 and below will also be exempt, along with those who have recovered from Covid-19 between six and 60 days before their departure. Unvaccinated or partially vaccinated international arrivals are still welcome, but must undergo two rounds of testing followed by five days of mandatory quarantine. Foreign nationals do not need to buy Covid-19 travel insurance to enter the country; double- or triple-vaccinated visitors only have to fill out a pre-departure declaration form via the MySejahtera contact tracing app.

Masks will become optional outdoors, though it is still encouraged in crowded places such as night markets and stadiums. Facial coverings remain compulsory in indoor settings, including public transport, offices, and shopping malls. Physical distancing rules are being dropped as well. Notably, authorities are scrapping the requirement to check in with MySejahtera when entering businesses or public places, which will be open to everyone regardless of vaccination status. May 1 will also see all premises permitted to operate at full capacity. Nightclubs, which have been closed since the start of the pandemic in March 2020, can reopen when the final curbs on economic activities are lifted on the 15th.

Residents who test positive will be released early from their seven-day quarantines if the rapid antigen test result on the fourth day is negative. According to the latest government statistics, just under 82 percent of Malaysia’s population has been fully vaccinated, including nearly 98 percent of adults. About 68 percent of those aged 18 and up have already received a booster shot.

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