KOTA KINABALU: The Sabah Tourism, Culture and Environment ministry is once again ready to introduce the travel bubble concept in the state following the relaxation of standard operating procedures for fully vaccinated individuals here, said its minister.
Datuk Jafry Ariffin said currently, anyone residing in Sabah could start enjoying leisure travel within their district as long as they were fully inoculated and were of low risk based on their MySejahtera status.
He said all tours and stays must be pre-booked through registered travel agencies and hotels.
The respective travel agencies and hotels must adhere to the latest SOPs enforced by the National Security Council, he said.
Jafry said as part of the programme, travels beyond districts would be allowed provided the travel agencies and hotels obtained pre-approval from the Covid-19 Disaster Management Committee (JKPBNS) before conducting a tour or allowing the stay.
Guests must be transported from point to point basis, maintaining a contactless concept travel with pre-booked arrangement while employees of tour operators, hotels, resorts, and homestays must be fully vaccinated, he said.
"With the implementation of these standard travel bubble guidelines, industry players can be prepared for the reopening of businesses while travellers can feel confident of a safe travel environment around Sabah.
"We are moving towards the new normal of travelling. It is about time for our industry to be reactivated, starting with local travellers within Sabah," Jafry said.
He said Sabah had done it before and he believed with the many attractions within its six zones, it would be a good start as the state anticipated the full reopening of state borders.
He added that SOPs must be strictly followed for the programme to be maintained.
The public as well as tour operators can contact the Sabah Tourism Board marketing division for more information about the travel bubble.