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UPDATED: Here are the SOPs for interstate and international travel in Malaysia

UPDATED: Here are the SOPs for interstate and international travel in Malaysia

Ready for take off?

Text: Natalie Khoo

Image: Yong Chuan Tan / Unsplash
Image: Fasyah Halim / Unsplash

Been itching to travel abroad or out of your state? Read on for the latest updates and SOPs on interstate and international travel in Malaysia

[Note: This article was originally published on 10 October 2021 and has been updated with the latest SOPs for international travel on 3 December 2021]

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob has announced that interstate travel will be allowed starting October 11 as 90 per cent of Malaysian adults have been fully vaccinated. Only fully vaccinated travellers will be able to enjoy the movement relaxation for non-work purposes, without needing to apply for permission from the police.

An exception applies to EMCO (enhanced movement control order) areas, which will remain closed off to travellers. Although it is not mandatory, travellers are encouraged to take a Covid-19 self-test before travelling across local borders.

Travellers bound for Sarawak are required to apply permission for entry via the EnterSarawak website, providing their Covid-19 vaccination certificate as proof of a full vaccination, as well as a negative RT-PCR test or antigen test from health clinics or laboratories within three days prior to travel. Meanwhile, Sabah will announce its decision on whether it will reopen its borders on October 13.

In addition, those who are fully vaccinated will also be allowed to travel abroad without going through the MyTravelPass scheme, which was previously limited to those who needed to make “essential” trips for work or studies. However, a mandatory 14-day quarantine remains in force for anyone entering Malaysia, which can be done at home for Malaysians. Travellers will also be required to take a swab test three days before their trip, and another test upon arriving in Malaysia.

“The new ruling will take effect tomorrow and I would like to thank my Malaysian Family for making the National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme (PICK) a success,” the Prime Minister said in a live telecast today (October 10).

He added that the decision is an important step to revive the domestic tourism sector, as well as to allow Malaysians to reunite with their families in their hometowns. This follows the success of the Langkawi travel bubble plan—a pilot project to reopen domestic travel launched on September 16.

Here are the SOPs for interstate travel at a glance: 

  • Only fully-vaccinated individuals are allowed across borders without police permission
  • Travelling to/out of EMCO areas will not be allowed
  • Non-Sarawakians bound for Sarawak are required to apply permission for entry via the EnterSarawak website, providing proof of a full vaccination and a negative Covid-19 test within three days before departure
  • A Covid-19 self-test is not mandatory, but encouraged

Here are the SOPs for international travel at a glance:

Travelling overseas:

  • Malaysians are not allowed to travel to high-risk countries such as South Africa, Lesotho, Eswatini, Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Mozambique and Malawi
  • Fully vaccinated travellers are allowed to travel abroad without presenting the MyTravelPass approval
  • Children or dependents aged 17 years old and below must be accompanied by a fully vaccinated parent or legal guardian
  • Travellers are advised to check the travel requirements of the destination country, as well as the airlines company for any additional requirements

Travelling/returning to Malaysia (from high-risk countries):

  • All foreigners (including international students and foreign workers) from or with a travel history within 14 days to high-risk countries namely South Africa, Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia, Zimbabwe, and Malawi are not allowed to enter Malaysia
  • Malaysians and foreigners who are active/valid Malaysian Long Term Pass holders (Spouse Visa, MM2H, Resident Pass) will be allowed entry, but must undergo mandatory quarantine for 14 days at the designated quarantine station and perform a Covid-19 RT-PCR test 72 hours prior to arrival and on the 10th day during the mandatory quarantine period 

Travelling/returning to Malaysia (all other countries):

  • Travellers must produce a negative (RT-PCR) test taken within three days prior to arrival (remit payments for Covid-19 screening test and quarantine cost at safetravel.myeg.com.my)
  • Travellers must perform a mandatory 7-day quarantine, which can be done at home for Malaysians and foreigners who have a residence in Malaysia (including permanent residents and MM2H visa holders). Those eligible for home quarantine are required to apply for approval seven days before departure through the Ministry of Health Malaysia official website 
  • Travellers are also required to download the MySejahtera app from Apple App Store or Google Play Store when travelling to and within Malaysia for health screening and contact tracing purposes
  • All international arrival passengers with onward connection to Sabah, Sarawak, Labuan, Penang and Langkawi and have obtained “Home Quarantine” approval can continue their journey, but are required to wear quarantine wristband/surveillance bracelets upon arrival at the destination’s airport and undergo a 7-day quarantine period
  • All international arrival passengers with onward connection to Alor Setar, Kota Bahru, Terengganu, Kuantan, and Johor will be given and are required to wear the wristband at KLIA before they continue flying to the domestic airports.

Travelling/returning via a vaccinated travel lane (VTL): Please refer to our complete guide here

As a safety precaution, Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin has also advised Malaysians to observe SOPs, wear face masks wherever necessary, and practice TRISS (Test, Report, Isolate, Inform, Seek).


For reference, according to the National Security Council, you are considered "fully vaccinated":

  • 14 days after your second dose of the Pfizer/AstraZeneca/Sinovac/Moderna/Sinopharm Covid-19 vaccine

OR

  • 28 days after a single-dose vaccine (Johnson & Johnson/Cansino)

More updates to come as soon as they are available. What do you think of this development and where will you head first?

Other travel and SOP updates: