Langkawi, Malaysia. Credit Jalan Pantai Tengah on Unsplash
Tourism and hotel groups have reacted with dismay after Malaysia health director-general Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah was reported as saying that the ban on international, interstate and inter-district would continue until at least 70% of the population had been vaccinated against Covid-19.
Current projections estimate that it will take until the first quarter of 2022 before 80% of the population has received the vaccine.
The Malaysian Association of Tour and Travel Agents (Matta), Malaysian Association of Hotels (MAH) and Malaysian Tourist Guides Council (MTGC) said that the industry could not afford to wait until then before allowing Malaysians to travel domestically.
MAH president N Subramaniam said that the hotel industry could not wait for even another month without further assistance and that more hotels would close if interstate travel was not opened up after 4th March.
Meanwhile Bukit Gasing assemblyman Rajiv Rishyakaran said that the country must consider opening its borders to international tourists and business-people who have received the Covid-19 vaccine.
“Malaysia could revive and rejuvenate its tourism and airline industries if we capitalise on this opportunity.”
“All we need to do is emulate, and maybe refine, the strategies and safety measures implemented by other countries who have opened their borders. This needs to be done immediately to boost our country’s economy.”Rajiv Rishyakaran, Bukit Gasing assemblyman via Free Malaysia Today
He added that the utilisation of vaccine passports together with negative PCR tests would be sufficient to safely open borders to foreign visitors.
Dr Abdullah said over the weekend that it was too early to say if Covid-19 vaccinations could serve as an “immunity passport” to allow travel and that there was the need to monitor the situation further before decisons could be made.
Source Free Malaysia Today
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