Khairy Jamaluddin said the government is considering creating a travel bubble for Langkawi by inoculating most residents of the resort island against Covid-19 before allowing vaccinated tourists to visit.
During a panel discussion on Covid-19 vaccine rollouts and the ASEAN economy yesterday, the vaccine minister said that Malaysia may follow Thailand's lead and enable completely vaccinated visitors to visit its resort island of Phuket without quarantine starting in July.
“We're thinking of doing that in Langkawi, and of course, the criteria aren't just people who are vaccinated coming in to Langkawi, but the DG (director-general) of Health said you have to make sure that everybody in Langkawi is vaccinated as well,” Khairy said.
International visitors must complete their Covid-19 vaccination in their country of origin and show proof of vaccination upon arrival in Phuket from July 1 onwards, as well as a negative Covid-19 test result obtained before flying to Thailand, under Phuket's quarantine-free tourism model.
Phuket will begin a mass Covid-19 vaccination program two months ahead of the rest of Thailand in order to prepare for the arrival of tourists on July 1 without quarantine restrictions.
Khairy also said he would address future travel bubbles with Singapore and Thailand without waiting for a regional collection of regulations from ASEAN itself, during a panel discussion organized by think tank CARI ASEAN Research and Advocacy and the ASEAN Business Advisory Council yesterday.
“I can't wait for ASEAN, which is why we have to switch bilaterally.” I need to talk to Singapore, and I need to talk to Thailand. They are happy to talk,” said the minister of science, technology, and innovation.
“If we wait for an ASEAN regional set of guidelines, I believe we will have to wait until we have cured cancer before we can get ASEAN to work on this.”
Furthermore, Khairy said that the MySejahtera application will serve as Malaysia's vaccine health passport and that the government is working to ensure that MySejahtera has three rigid backend components to prove that a person has antibodies against SARS-CoV-2: Covid-19 test results, vaccination certificate, and serology test results.
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