PUTRAJAYA: Travellers under the Langkawi travel bubble scheme, which begins Thursday (Sept 16), must take Covid-19 tests before departure, says the Health Ministry.
In a statement, Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin said this could be done via RT-PCR or RTK-Antigen tests.
"The government has decided to make it compulsory for all travellers who will be holidaying in Langkawi starting from Sept 16 to undergo a Covid-19 test before departure.
"This can be done at any health facility or private laboratory within 48 hours prior to the departure date.
"Test results must be brought along for inspection at the entrance (airport or ferry terminal) prior to departure,” he said.
Khairy said another possible way was for travellers to purchase a saliva self-test kit and take it to the airport or ferry terminal and undergo their tests at the screening spot provided.
"Travellers can also purchase a saliva self-test sold at the screening centres set up at the airport or ferry terminal," he said.
Khairy added that adults aged 18 and above as well as children aged 7-17 years were required to undergo tests.
As for children aged six years and below, they only need to undergo symptomatic screening, taking into account their ability to produce saliva.
Children must be accompanied by a parent or guardian who were fully vaccinated, not a positive case or a close contact to a positive case.
"The Covid-19 detection tests conducted at the airports and ferry terminals will be monitored by health personnel on site.
"Those who test negative can continue travelling.
"However, those who test positive will be prevented from travelling and they will be managed according to Covid-19 standard operating procedures," he said.
Khairy also said the Langkawi travel bubble had to be conducted with extra precautions to ensure it did not result in the increase in Covid-19 cases or emergence of new infection clusters.
"For that reason, the government must ensure tourists to Langkawi are individuals who are fully vaccinated, not Covid-19 positive and also not a close contact to positive cases," he said.
Khairy added that fundamental Covid-19 preventive measures such as wearing face masks, frequent washing of hands and physical distancing must continue to be practiced.
"I hope the public can enjoy the privileges given while adapting to a culture of new norms in their daily lives,” he said.