Chairman of the National Recovery Council of Malaysia, said that the closure of the border has caused about RM90 billion losses to the tourism industry so far. Due to the remarkable effect of the vaccination program, the Council meeting decided to open the border to international tourists before January 1st next year to accelerate the recovery of tourism
The Malaysian National Recovery Council said that Malaysia will open its borders to eligible foreigners by New Year's Day next year at the latest. This is to revitalize the tourism industry hit by the COVID-19 epidemic and boost the national economy.
The Chairman of the National Recovery Council of Malaysia said at a press conference held after the Council meeting yesterday that the border closure has caused economic losses of about RM 90 billion (about S billion) to the tourism industry so far. After the government gradually relaxed the epidemic prevention control, it was found that the recovery of tourism was slower than that of other fields. This is not only because the operators need time and resources to restart their business, but also because no foreign tourists enter the country.
He said: "Because of the remarkable effect of the national vaccine immunization program, the Council meeting decided to open the border to international tourists before January 1st next year, so as to accelerate the recovery, especially the recovery of tourism."
However, he stressed that even if the country is reopened, tourists from all over the world will not be allowed to enter the country immediately. The government will first assess some countries that meet the standards, including those with high vaccination rates in COVID-19. For example, although there are still epidemics in Germany, Britain, the United States, and Switzerland, most of the people in these countries have completed vaccination and are open to people from Malaysia and other countries.
As for the Vaccinated Travel Lane program (VTL) actively implemented by the Malaysian government, said that the government will discuss this arrangement with more countries next.
After the vaccination rate of domestic COVID-19 exceeded 90% and the epidemic situation gradually improved, the Malaysian government began to discuss VTL with neighboring countries. Among them, Malaysia and Singapore announced on Monday that VTL would be opened on the 29th of this month, and it is expected that there will be six flights between Singapore and Kuala Lumpur every day.
Malaysian Prime Minister Ismail Shabiri and Indonesian President Zoco also announced on Wednesday that the two countries will open to each other next year and implement VTL plan in stages. On the same day, the Minister of Health Kelly revealed that Malaysia was also discussing with Brunei about mutual opening up.
The COVID-19 epidemic in Malaysia has been improving continuously since the beginning of October, but the single-day new cases in the past four days have picked up slightly. The authorities said that if the number of new cases surged, the government would still tighten social activities again.
There were 6,323 newly confirmed cases in Malaysia yesterday, a slight increase of 80 cases compared with the day before yesterday, with a total of 2,528,821 cases. The Ministry of Health reported 59 new deaths, with a total of 29,486 deaths. The single-day new cases in Malaysia have been less than 10,000 for 40 consecutive days from October 3rd to yesterday.
Deputy Prime Minister Masdura said in a parliamentary inquiry yesterday that if there are more cases involving variant viruses or the number of daily confirmed cases is increasing, the government will implement stricter epidemic prevention measures. "If the risk is extremely high, the government will tighten social activities, but will not restrict economic activities."
After the first COVID-19 outbreak in Malaysia at the beginning of last year, the government implemented the first operation control order (executive order) on March 18th and completely blocked the border. On May 1st last year, when the then Muhyuddin government announced the relaxation of the management order, it revealed that the implementation of the management order had caused economic losses of about RM 63 billion. If the management order is extended to June, the loss may reach RM 146 billion.