PUTRAJAYA: Opportunities to create travel bubble arrangements with neighbouring countries during the Covid-19 situation are being explored.
Among the identified countries are Brunei, Singapore and Thailand, as well as other Asean nations and Asia-Pacific countries such as Japan, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand as these places were identified as safe by the World Health Organisation, said a press statement from Tourism, Arts and Culture Ministry (Motac).
The ministry held discussions with the Health, Home Affairs and Foreign Affairs ministries over this matter.
“However, this implementation is subject to bilateral discussions and considerations on health, immigration, data tracking, and ongoing monitoring by the relevant agencies for both countries, ” said minister Datuk Seri Nancy Shukri.
Malaysia has also voiced the need for transparency and standardisation of operating procedures across borders by safe countries to facilitate travel, by taking into account the views of the health agencies of the countries involved.
This is done under Malaysia’s capacity as chairman of the Regional Commission for the East Asia & the Pacific on the Global Tourism Crisis Committee, United Nations World Tourism Organisation.
Nancy thanked Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin for his success in obtaining an Indonesian agreement in allowing the Reciprocal Green Lane/Travel Corridor Arrangement (RGL/TCA).
“Alhamdulillah, it is good news and long awaited for Motac, ” she said.
Nancy said the initiative was one of Motac’s tourism and cultural recovery plans which was formulated since July last year as a measure to revitalise or “rebound” the country’s tourism and culture industry.
Muhyiddin on Friday held a meeting with Indonesian President Joko Widodo, and among the issues raised during the four-eye meeting were investment and trade, implementation of RGL, palm oil discrimination, cooperation in tackling the Covid-19 pandemic, and the current political unrest in Myanmar. — Bernama