KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 22 — The government has decided that interstate activities and tourism-related pursuits will be allowed if 90 per cent of adults in Malaysia are vaccinated against Covid-19, the prime minister announced today.

Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob, who chairs the special committee managing the Covid-19 pandemic, said this was among six decisions made today.

“Allowing the opening of tourism centres, islands or tourism areas together with interstate activities being allowed, with the condition that 90 per cent of adult vaccination rate is achieved, based on data and analysis done by the Health Ministry,” he said in a statement today.

He also announced that the special committee had decided that tourism centres, tourism premises or tourism products such as zoos, farms, aquariums, snorkelling, scuba diving, fishing tourism and forest parks (taman rimba) will be allowed to operate in all phases of the National Recovery Plan (NRP) from October 1, 2021 onwards, with the requirement for all operators and visitors to be fully vaccinated against Covid-19.

He also said the special committee today decided to also allow spa businesses, wellness centres and health massages from October 1 onwards, but also with the requirement for both operators and visitors to have already been fully vaccinated.

He said it was decided today that foreigners who arrive at Malaysia’s international entry points will have to bear the cost of the RT-PCR tests for Covid-19, while the same test would be free for Malaysians who arrive in the country.

The two other relaxations in rules announced by Ismail Sabri today included allowing full employee attendance at businesses that are permitted to operate if the employer and all employees are fully vaccinated against Covid-19.

He said the committee had also decided that grocery stores, mini markets, restaurants, petrol stations and convenience stores will be allowed to have longer operating hours of 6am to midnight, starting from September 23 (tomorrow).

Apart from the six decisions, he said that the committee had also decided today that three states will move into new phases of the National Recovery Plan (NRP) from September 24, with Johor moving from Phase One to Phase Two, Pahang moving from Phase Two to Phase Three, while Negri Sembilan will be moving from Phase Three to Phase Four.

The decision for these three states is based on NRP guidelines that take into account hospital admissions for symptomatic cases, intensive care unit (ICU) bed usage and vaccination completion rate, as well as current risk assessment by the Health Ministry and National Security Council.