The island will reopen 16 September and will mirror Thailand’s “sandbox scheme”.
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One of the industries greatly hit by the pandemic would undoubtedly be the tourism sector. However, respite is on the way!
In a statement made yesterday (2 September 2021), Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob has said Malaysia plans to reopen Langkawi Island under the “travel bubble” program based on certain conditions.
The popular tourist destination was chosen as a pilot project to reopen to local tourists beginning 16 September 2021.
Other tourist destinations will be allowed to operate when the locality’s vaccination rate reaches 80%.
Following Phuket’s ‘sandbox’ scheme
Despite daily cases remaining high, Malaysia plans to mirror Thailand’s tourism-reopening plan based on a pilot project in holiday favourite destination Phuket.
The programme allows vaccinated tourists to roam selected areas where sufficient numbers of residents have been inoculated and strict protocols implemented.
Since The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) launched the project on 1 July, of the 26,400 foreigners who have visited the island, only 0.3% or 83 people have tested positive for Covid-19.
Learning to live with the virus
In a press conference on 1 September, the newly installed Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin said steps are being taken by the government to prepare a set of new standard operating procedures (SOP) to guide the public on living with Covid-19 as the virus becomes endemic.
He stressed how transitioning towards treating Covid-19 as endemic is an approach that has to be adopted by the whole of society in maintaining the SOPs.
But will we be getting the full “holiday experience” despite strict SOP?
Apart from its beautiful, natural scenery, the holiday experience in Langkawi is also about its beaches, marine life, museums, and duty-free shopping just to name a few.
TRP reached out to the official tourism board of Langkawi to find out if holidaymakers will still be getting the same kind of experience they used to before and they have responded to say:
Yes, so far the vaccinated tourists could do most of the things except for bar, night club & can’t travel in MICE group.Official Langkawi Tourism Facebook to TRP
Former advertising mad woman - turned mother to an amazing little girl born 3 months early - and now a returned writer. Also a textbook ambivert with no clue about today's pop music but a walking encyclopedia of music from the 80s and 90s.