Representative image Photograph:( AFP )
The recommendation from Malaysia's Coronavirus recovery council comes as neighbours waive quarantine requirements to attract vaccinated tourists, including Thailand, the Philippines and Singapore
Malaysia's coronavirus recovery council said on Tuesday it had recommended full reopening of borders March 1 onwards. Mandatory quarantine for travellers will by done away with as part of plans aimed at accelerating economic recovery. Malaysia has shut its borders since March 2020. It had frozen entry of foreign workers in order to try and contain the spread of coronavirus.
The recommendation comes as neighbours waive quarantine requirements to attract vaccinated tourists, including Thailand, the Philippines and Singapore.
Thailand on Monday said it was eyeing travel bubbles with Malaysia and China.
Muhyiddin Yassin, a former premier and chairperson of the National Recovery Council (NRC), a government advisory body, said travellers would have to undergo COVID-19 screening before departure and on arrival.
"This means tourists can visit, investors can enter... It means AirAsia can fly again, as an example," he told a news conference, referring to the Malaysia-based budget carrier.
At present, Malaysia allows quarantine-free entry to people from Singapore as part of a bilateral arrangement.
Daily coronavirus infections in Malaysia have surged in recent weeks to their highest in four months, driven by the Omicron variant.
It reported 13,944 new infections on Tuesday, adding to more than 2.9 million cases recorded overall, with over 32,000 deaths, among the highest fatality and infection rates in Asia per capita.
The majority of the cases were asymptomatic or mild due Malaysia's high vaccination rate, the health ministry said on Monday.
About 98% of Malaysia's adult population has received two doses of the vaccine and more than half a booster shot. About 89% of 12-17 year olds have been vaccinated and inoculations for children age 5-11 started last week.
(With inputs from agencies)