Cover Photo: Pxhere

With state borders reopened from October 11 onwards and overseas travel now permitted, we look at the SOPs and health recommendations involved for those planning a trip

For the first time in nearly 10 months, interstate travel in Malaysia will officially reopen for fully vaccinated individuals only from October 11 onwards, following the announcement by prime minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob in a special address. The decision to reopen state borders comes as the nation reaches the 90 per cent mark of its fully-vaccinated adult population.

While EMCO (enhanced movement control order) areas will still remain closed off to travellers, Malaysians will finally be able to embark on interstate journeys for non-work purposes, no longer requiring police permits. Though it is not compulsory, the prime minister encouraged travellers to take a Covid-19 self-test before leaving the state. Children below the age of 18 years may also travel with their fully-vaccinated parents across state lines, adhering to face mask requirements, social distancing and other health SOPs.      

Travellers bound for Sarawak are required to apply for entry via the EnterSarawak website, offering proof of their complete Covid-19 vaccination along with a negative RT-PCR test or an antigen rapid test kit (no older than three days).

Sabah too, has announced its decision to reopen its borders for interstate travel from November 1 onwards to fully vaccinated adults and teens aged between 12 to 18 years old who have completed at least one dose of the Covid-19 vaccination. Children under 12 years old must be accompanied by a fully vaccinated adult.  

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Fully vaccinated Malaysians have also been permitted to travel overseas without the MyTravelPass from the Immigration Department. Fully vaccinated Malaysians and expats returning to the country from overseas are still required to take a swab test three days before their trip, and another test upon arriving in Malaysia. According to recent announcement, they are also required to undergo a seven-day period of quarantine (previously 14 days), which can be done in their homes. The latest SOPs from Malaysia's National Security Council state that travellers who undergo this period of home quarantine are required to complete their daily health assessment via the MySejahtera app to determine whether or not the quarantine period should be extended another seven days.

To encourage Malaysians everywhere to exercise every precaution when travelling, health minister Khairy Jamaluddin advised Malaysians to observe SOPs, wear face masks wherever necessary and practise TRISS (Test, Report, Isolate, Inform, Seek).


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