Here’s a silver lining for those who have been bitten by the travel bug. Langkawi island will reopen to fully-vaccinated domestic tourists from Sep. 16, without quarantine.
Langkawi island, famous for its gorgeous beaches and duty-free goodies, will reopen under a travel bubble plan similar to Thailand’s Phuket Sandbox. The island’s tourism industry is already gearing up for the reopening, with car rentals and local chalets preparing for arrivals, Uzaidi Udanis, president of the Malaysian Inbound Tourism Association, told Free Malaysia Today.
“Car rentals need to renew their road tax, chalets need landscaping. Some small maintenance is needed to make sure all is in order,” he said.
Among the reasons Langkawi became the preferred option were its network of public and international flights and its varied accommodation facilities, Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister Nancy Shukri said online yesterday. She added that Langkawi would be a testing ground for Malaysia to revive the tourism industry.
“Langkawi was chosen as a ‘testing ground’ project to revive the tourism industry that has long been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic considering that the island is isolated,” she wrote on Facebook yesterday.
“The selected pilot destination has its own strengths such as having a network of public and international flights, as well as having a variety of accommodation facilities for various types of the tourist segment,” she said.
Other tourist destinations will be allowed to reopen once the vaccination rate of their locality hits 80%. Langkawi, an island of 100,000 people, achieved this target on Aug. 15.
Here is a list of do’s and don’ts for Langkawi travelers:
- The travel bubble will be open to fully-vaccinated individuals
- Children are allowed to travel with fully-vaccinated parents
- Tourists need to acquire police permits before traveling
- Authorities will check for tourists’ COVID-19 certificate from time to time
- Ferries will be allowed to operate with 50% capacity at limited frequencies per day (four trips from Kuala Kedah and six trips from Kuala Perlis per day)
- All businesses except for pubs, nightclubs will be allowed to operate
- Conferences, meetings, and exhibitions are prohibited