Green travel bubble: Individual police permits not needed for domestic tourists travelling in a group, says Nancy Shukri

KUALA LUMPUR: Domestic tourists travelling in a group under registered travel agencies between green zones need not apply for individual police permits, says Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Nancy Shukri.

She said Monday (Nov 23) that the travel agencies only need to apply for a group police permit for tourism purposes.

Nancy also announced various holiday packages and relaxation of standard operating procedures (SOPs) to encourage Malaysians in green zones to travel to other green zones.

There are also special packages for the 1.6 million civil servants.

Nancy said that the Tourism Ministry was working together with local airlines such as MAS, Firefly and AirAsia as well as various tourist service providers such as hotels and shopping portals.

"Those travelling in the group under a registered agency need not apply for individual police permits, unlike families or individuals who are travelling on their own.

"We encourage those from green zones to venture out to other green zones. The intention of this exercise is purely for economy recovery and as part of the economic stimulus packages for this year.

"We also want to allow people to be able to visit tourist sites in the green zones," Nancy said.

She said that from January to June 2020, the domestic tourism industry suffered a loss of revenue of about RM45bil and there was a drastic drop in the number of tourists as the borders remained closed.

Nancy also said that for those travelling on tourism purposes from green zone to green zone, the vehicles can be at full capacity, unlike those in red or yellow zones which only allowed three people in a private vehicle for all purposes.

"If for domestic tourism purposes, the vehicle can be at full capacity for travel from green zone to green zone.

"All travel arrangements must be made by travel agencies and individual tourists throughout the journey. No stopping anywhere in red or yellow zones along the journey, not at RnR and not at petrol stations.

"It is the complete responsibility of the travel agencies to ensure that all the tourists in their groups are free from Covid-19. If there happens to be a case during the journey, then the SOPs from the Health Ministry will kick in," said Nancy.

The current SOPs for domestic travel bubble include temperature check at all times, registration using My Sejahtera app and sickbays must be prepared by travel agencies if there are cases of illness.

On Nov 20, Senior Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri said those residing in green zone states and districts will be allowed to travel for holidays from Sunday (Nov 22) to boost the tourism industry.

He said the National Security Council (NSC) special meeting had heard a proposal tabled by the Tourism, Arts and Culture Ministry on a green travel bubble to help domestic tourism, which has been badly affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.

“We have agreed to allow this, but this is only for those living in green states or districts and the destination must also be in the green zones, ” the Defence Minister said Friday (Nov 20).

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