KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 21 — Genting Highlands, Melaka and Tioman Island will join Malaysia’s travel bubble and may reopen to visitors beginning October 1, Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Nancy Shukri announced today.
She also said more locations would be added soon to the domestic tourism bubble that already included Langkawi in Kedah.
The minister said the three locations she announced today will receive their approval tomorrow, after which she will table the matter in Parliament.
“But, God willing, maybe tomorrow, all these would be added and we have given these two weeks so these destinations can prepare to start operating again,” Nancy said during the joint press conference in Parliament with Defence Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein as well Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Faizal Azumu.
“These are not exclusive. God willing, we will list more destinations after further discussions,” Nancy said, adding that the standard operating procedures (SOPs) would also be refined and more destinations, including both island and “mainland” destinations would be included.
She said the refined SOPs would look into several things, such as the need for swab tests, adding that the matter is “rather complicated’ as it involves a larger area.
“Likewise, in Langkawi, there are many entry points. So this is what we need to refine, in terms of the SOPs,” Nancy said, adding that the Ministry of Health (MOH) has asked her ministry to list the travel SOPs similar to those imposed on travellers flying to Langkawi.
Nancy had yesterday said that Langkawi island in Kedah, which is the pilot project for the country’s travel bubble, has proved to be a success story since it opened on Thursday, after recording 9,500 tourist arrivals.
National news agency Bernama reported Nancy as saying that there were no Covid-19 cases recorded among the tourists as recently stated by Kedah Health director Dr Othman Warijo.