Malaysia eases travel curbs as vaccination rate reaches 90%

Oct 11 , 2021. 13 hours ago – 21:14 KYODO NEWS

Pedestrians wearing face masks as preventive measure against the spread of coronavirus, are seen walking near the shopping district in downtown Kuala Lumpur on Sept. 11, 2021. (SOPA Images/LightRocket/Getty/Kyodo)

KUALA LAMPUR – Malaysia said Sunday it will relax travel curbs within the country as 90 percent of its adult population is now fully vaccinated against the coronavirus.

In a televised speech, Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob said inter-state travel will be permitted from Monday to those who have received two doses of the COVID-19 vaccine.

A travel ban was imposed in January after a surge in COVID-19 cases following the year-end holiday season. A police permit was required for those who wanted to cross state borders for business or emergency purposes.

As vaccinations picked up steam and hospital admissions decreased, Ismail Sabri had said travel curbs would be eased once the full vaccination rate among the adult population hit 90 percent. The target was achieved Sunday, according to Health Ministry data.

The prime minister also said fully vaccinated Malaysians can now travel overseas without the need to get permission from the immigration department. However, they still need to be quarantined upon their return.

“Behind all the loosening up that was announced is the fact that we are now forced to live with the COVID-19 virus,” Ismail Sabri said. But he urged people not to be complacent and to take precautions such as self-testing before deciding to travel.

On opening up the international border, he said the government is still studying whether to allow foreign tourists to visit the country. Currently foreigners can only enter for business or official purposes.

The country’s daily infection cases are on a downward trend, falling below 10,000 last week. The Health Ministry reported 74 deaths on Sunday.

Cr. KYODO NEWS