The Southeast Asian Country Returns To Pre-Pandemic Operations
The Southeast Asian country of Malaysia has removed the last of its COVID-era entry requirements, allowing vaccinated and unvaccinated tourists alike the chance to explore its beauty unimpeded. It’s one of the few Asian countries to completely drop its regulations surrounding the infection.
Although vaccinated travelers were already able to enter the country without testing or quarantine, unvaccinated tourists were required to take a PCR test up to two days before arrival, take a rapid antigen test within 24 hours after arrival, and then quarantine for a further five days. Vaccinated tourists still had to download the MySejahtera app by uploading verifiable proof of their health status.
Much of the initial announcement revolved around the dropping of the Travel Form on the MySejahtera app, with no explicit statement that all of the requirements had been removed. But multiple embassies have now updated their Malaysia pages to match the new updates. Sherpa and Smartvel, both travel tools for Air Canada and United, respectively, had already updated the requirements for entry to show no testing required for the unvaccinated.
According to the British Embassy’s website:
“As of 1 August 2022 all entry requirements related to COVID-19 travel to Malaysia have now been removed, regardless of vaccination status. However, you may still be requested to download the MySejahtera app but are no longer required to fill in the travel pass to verify your vaccine status.”
Under the section head “If you are not fully vaccinated”, it reads:
“Entry requirements for Malaysia are the same for all travellers, regardless of COVID-19 vaccination status.”
With that in mind, tourists may want to download the app, to save any hassle at the airport. Malaysia’s civil infrastructure can be notoriously slow, and with some bad luck, tourists may still meet some confusion from staff.
Visitors to Malaysia can expect to be mask-free outdoors but anticipate wearing one indoors and on public transport. While seated at a restaurant, they are not required, but travelers should take the mandate seriously. Malaysian police have been known to enforce the mandates with on-the-spot fines for improper mask usage or no mask wearing at all.
Malaysia is one of the most underappreciated countries in Southeast Asia. While those on the backpacker trail generally head for Thailand and Vietnam, Malaysia is often skipped over or utilized as a long layover.
But those willing to venture to its shores will find beaches to rival the best in Thailand with a fraction of the tourists. Islands like Lankawi and Tioman offer world-class resorts, including some recently ranked among the best on the planet.
Malaysian Borneo offers the chance to see the wonderful orangutan in its natural habitat, before enjoying some of the planet’s best diving off the coast of Sandakan. Sunken World War II ships are the setting for some of the dives, as well as a beautiful coral reef.
The capital, Kuala Lumpur, itself is a joy. Both ultra modern in the shape of its stunning skyscrapers, headlined by the Petronas Towers and flashy high-end shopping malls, and traditional in the form of its beautiful shophouses serving some of the best food on the continent. Of course, the iconic Batu Caves lie on the outskirts of the city and is a must for any visit to KL.
Further exploration takes visitors to the historic towns of Penang, Ipoh, and Melaka, all once colonial towns of the British, Dutch, or Portuguese at different times, and all offering twists on local fares to reflect those histories.
Americans, Brits, and Canadians can all enter Malaysia visa-free for ninety days before having to extend in some manner.
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Disclaimer: Current travel rules and restrictions can change without notice. The decision to travel is ultimately your responsibility. Contact your consulate and/or local authorities to confirm your nationality’s entry and/or any changes to travel requirements before traveling. Travel Off Path does not endorse traveling against government advisories