Before the pandemic, travelling to other countries was easy peasy and we were free to go to almost everywhere we wanted to. But now, we’re mostly confined to destinations within our borders, and terms like intra-state are no longer stranger to us. But as the world slowly recovers from the pandemic, we begin to hear new terms used in travel and tourism. One of it is “travel bubble”, a travel term that before today didn’t even exist.
Here’s what you need to know about travel bubble and the latest update on travelling into and within Malaysia.
Disclaimer: This article was updated on 21st January 2021. It will continue to be updated with the latest information available at the time of publication, as well as travel guidelines and restrictions.
What is travel bubble?
In layman’s terms, travel bubble refers to a bilateral agreement between two or more countries to open their borders for travel. These are usually considered for countries that have been known to effectively contain the spread of the coronavirus.
What is Malaysia’s verdict on travel bubble?
As of Dec 2020, the possibility of travel bubble arrangements with green zone countries was still being explored by The Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture Malaysia. Among the countries that are currently being considered are Australia, New Zealand, Japan, South Korea, and Brunei.
Malaysia-Singapore Reciprocal Green Lane (RGL)
In August 2020, the Malaysian Government announced Reciprocal Green Lane (RGL) scheme with Singapore. This allows legal residents of Singapore to enter Malaysia for short-term essential travels only, provided residents submit official documents to relevant authorities and abide to the respective countries’ public health measures.
Detailed info on the guideline is available on https://www.imi.gov.my/portal2017/images/fail_pengumuman/2020/8_Ogos/RGL_Procedures_18082020.pdf
Interstate travel within Malaysia
Interstate travel is barred until further notice. However, it is allowed for special cases and those with valid police permit.
For those who are considering travelling across states or districts, you are required to fill in the Movement Control Order (MCO) Movement Permit Forms or Conditional Movement Control Order (CMCO) Movement Permit Forms, and submit the completed forms at police station for approval.
The permission form for states under the MCO can be downloaded at https://www.rmp.gov.my/docs/
For states under the CMCO, the form can be downloaded at https://www.rmp.gov.my/docs/
Entrance into Sarawak
Additional entry requirements apply for travels into Sarawak. For the latest updates on procedures to enter Sarawak from West Malaysia or overseas, check out https://sarawakdisastermc.com/
Foreign travellers’ entry to Malaysia
As of Sept 8, 2020, foreign travellers with valid long-term passes or have obtained pass approval may enter Malaysia with approval from Immigration Department of Malaysia.
The categories of these passes are as follows:
- Residence Pass-Talent (RP-T) and their dependant/s
- Employment Pass (Category EP I, II and III)
- Professional Visit Pass (PVP)
- Dependant Pass to expatriate for all categories
- Long Term Social Visit Pass (LT-SVP) to expatriate for all categories
- Foreign Maid to expatriate for all categories
Detailed info available on https://esd.imi.gov.my/portal/latest-news/announcement/entry-hold-my-permission-updates/
COVID-19 Update in Malaysia
As of Jan 20, Malaysia recorded 4,008 positive new cases, with the highest numbers recorded in Selangor, Kuala Lumpur and Sabah respectively.
Following the recent spike in cases, the government has decided to implement Movement Control Order starting January 22 in all states except Sarawak.