Malaysia shortens quarantine to five days for those with 3 vaccines
Singapore, Jan 21 (EFE).- Malaysia said travelers who have received three Covid-19 vaccines will from Monday only need to quarantine five instead of seven days to enter the country, in line with steps taken by other countries in the area to revive tourism.
Malaysian Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin said travelers with three vaccines will still have to present a negative PCR test carried out at most two days before traveling, another entering the country and a final one on the fourth day of quarantine.
Meanwhile, those with two injections must still serve a week of quarantine, and unvaccinated people will be confined for 10 days.
“The decision has been based on data, science and the experience of other countries in the management of international travelers,” Khairy said at a press conference.
The minister also said not all visitors will have to wear a controversial surveillance bracelet, which controls movement in order to trace possible infections, and that it will be limited to those who come from countries considered high risk.
The country extended the vaccination program to children between 5 and 12 from Feb. 3.
Almost 80 percent of the population had received at least two doses in Malaysia as of Wednesday, compared to the 30 percent who have a third, according to Our World in Data.
The reduction of the quarantine in Malaysia is a more timid step than that taken by other countries in the region, such as Thailand, to try to revive tourism in an area that is highly economically dependent on this sector.
Thailand announced Thursday it would cancel the mandatory quarantine for travelers arriving in the country from February, having reimposed it at the end of December due to the global spread of the Covid-19 omicron variant.
Singapore also eliminated the mandatory quarantine for those with at least two vaccines traveling on the so-called vaccine travel lane flights.
Several destinations in Southeast Asia have been trying for months to revive tourism; Indonesia reopened the island of Bali for vaccinated tourists in October, and Cambodia did the same a month later.
However, the appearance of omicron, the lack of direct flights in many cases, sometimes forcing transit in countries with different policies, and the strong restrictions of China, a great source of travellers, make plans difficult. EFE