Are We Ready for International Travel? Where Can We Go?
On 11 October 2021, Malaysia opened up interstate and international travel for fully vaccinated individuals as we’ve now reached the 90% target for adult inoculations against COVID-19. This means fully vaccinated Malaysians can now travel overseas without having to apply for any permission, at least on our side—certain countries may still have additional requirements. So, that means we can now go skiing in Hokkaido anytime we’d like, right? Unfortunately not, as many countries still have restrictions on international travel, and making things more complicated is that not all countries have the same recognition of some of the vaccines approved for use in Malaysia, such as CanSino, which is currently only recognised in 9 countries including Malaysia itself. Besides, some countries would still require travellers to be quarantined for a mandatory number of days between 1 to 21 days. We’ve broken down the list of countries by the things you are required to do when you travel there, whether you need to test yourself for COVID-19 prior to entering the country, and whether you need to quarantine yourself. Vaccines that are used in Malaysia will be highlighted. For all unlisted countries such as Australia, Japan and China, it unfortunately means that they have currently banned travellers from Malaysia at the moment.
Note For All Travellers
Testing and Quarantine on Entering Malaysia
Apart from those travelling via the upcoming Singapore-Malaysia Vaccinated Travel Lane (VTL), all travellers entering Malaysia, whether you are a foreign national or you are a Malaysian citizen returning from international travel, are required to conduct a PCR test three days prior to arrival in Malaysia; only those with a negative result would be allowed to depart for Malaysia. Upon arrival at the Point of Entry, all travellers must undergo a health assessment and take a COVID-19 RT-PCR test, which is free for Malaysian citizens. Fully vaccinated travellers are required to undergo quarantine at designated quarantine stations for 7 days, while those who are not vaccinated or have not completed their vaccinations must quarantine for 10 days. Fully vaccinated travellers with a residence in Malaysia may wish to apply for home quarantine, but they must apply to the MOH Home Surveillance Order (HSO) team at least 7–10 days prior to travel to Malaysia through their Home Quarantine Application portal. Those who are quarantined will be required to take a repeat RT-PCR test on the 5th day (for those quarantined for 7 days) or the 8th day (for those quarantined for 10 days). All costs related to testing and quarantine are borne by the travellers. For additional details, refer here.
No Test, No Quarantine
For fully vaccinated persons flying from Malaysia with a Malaysian passport, the following countries require no testing prior to entry, nor do they require any quarantine. However, other requirements such as visa applications may still be in effect. For example, to enter certain premises in France, such as trains and restaurants, you will need to apply for a Pass Sanitaire, which is the French equivalent of the MySejahtera vaccine certificate.
Testing Needed, No Quarantine
This next section is a list of countries that require RT-PCR tests within a certain number of days prior to arrival at or departure for the respective countries even for fully vaccinated travellers from Malaysia but do not require any quarantine provided the RT-PCR tests return a negative result and no COVID-19 symptoms have developed on arrival. RT-PCR tests are available at KLIA and results can be obtained within 3 hours; COVID-19 testing at KLIA ranges between RM90 to RM370 for Malaysians and RM120 to RM470 for foreigners, but passengers in certain categories, i.e. B40, civil servants, persons with disabilities may get the screening test provided by MOH on a complimentary basis.
Both Testing and Quarantine Needed
The following countries not only require fully vaccinated travellers to take RT-PCR tests prior to arrival at or departure for the respective countries, they also require travellers to undergo a certain number of days of quarantine, though the number of days of quarantine varies depending on the country. All costs of testing and quarantine are of course borne by the travellers themselves.
Unfortunately as of this time, international travel is yet to be approved for unvaccinated Malaysians.
So there you have it, these are the countries currently available for international travel from Malaysia by fully vaccinated Malaysians. Do remember that you would have to take into account the extra costs and time needed for testing and quarantine when you fly back to Malaysia, so you’ll have to decide if it’s worth flying out of the country during this time, or if you would rather avoid the quarantine and testing fees instead and enjoy the local attractions. Let us know what you think in the comments section below!
Your Gateways to Getaways,
* Information on vaccination approvals by country taken from https://covid19.trackvaccines.org/
** Information on travel requirements by country taken from https://blog.wego.com/covid19-travel-restrictions-by-destination-country/
*** All information is deemed accurate as at 26 November 2021