Main picture Kilim Geoforest Park, Langkawi, Malaysia credit Steve Douglas on Unsplash
These followed reports last month on plans by the Malaysia Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture Malaysia (MOTAC) to investigate the possibility of reopening Langkawi to foreign visitors in a similar scheme to the Phuket Sandbox.
Now the Langkawi Development Authority (Lada) has published a three-phase Langkawi Tourism Recovery Plan 2021-2022 which hopes to see the return of fully-vaccinated tourists from mid-September. It is unclear at the moment however if the initial reopening will be purely for domestic tourists with foreign travellers following at the end of the year.
Langkawi has managed to avoid the worst of the pandemic that has seen Malaysia record more than 1.4 million cases of Covid-19 plus 12,500 deaths.
The plan will see Langkawi refocus the region as the heart of safety and sustainability.
Langkawi is currently working to ensure that at least 80% of the local population is fully vaccinated, to achieve “herd immunity”. It is hoped that this will be achieved in the next week or two.
Unlike the Phuket Sandbox, which offers quarantine-free travel, visitors are likely to be required to self-isolate for a short period on arrival.
If the Langkawi scheme proves successful, Malaysia plans to extend the scheme to Kuching, in Sarawak, and other holiday islands, possibly Redang, Perhentian, Pangkor and Tioman.
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