Vacationers: Safer to get tested before holidaying

Life goes on: Local tourists in silhouette enjoying a dip. ­— LIM BENG TATT /The Star

LANGKAWI: Despite the removal of the mandatory Covid-19 saliva test for domestic travellers before entering Langkawi, many holidaymakers still feel everyone should be tested for the safety of all.

Postal worker Rusydi Haris Ahmad Rusli, 36, said he made sure all his family members got tested at home before embarking on their trip to Langkawi.

“We started our journey only after each of us tested negative,” said Rusydi, who lives in Taman Samudera in Alor Setar.

He was spotted on the resort island with his wife Nor Anissyazwani Shamsudin, 31, and their two children.

Another visitor, Mohd Aizat Othman, 29, from Selangor, said he hopes that the government’s decision to drop the mandatory self-test will not backfire later.

“Personally, I think it should still be made a mandatory ruling for everyone’s sake, including visitors and the Langkawi folk,” he said.

The decision to drop the mandatory test has received mixed reactions.

Langkawi Business Association deputy president Datuk Alexander Isaac said the decision is timely as the country has reopened state borders for all fully vaccinated people.

“If the mandatory test ruling is still applied, it would put Langkawi at a disadvantage as the state is now under Phase Four of the National Recovery Plan. There’s more freedom to (travel) for the public now.

“Everyone should learn to live with the virus and strictly follow all the standard operating procedures mandated by the government,” he said, adding that the country is moving towards the endemic stage.

However, Kedah/Perlis Malaysian Association of Hoteliers chairman Eugene Dass said the removal of the mandatory test for visitors could put Langkawi at risk of infections.

“It should be extended for another month at least. That’s my personal opinion.

“Imposing the self-test would remind travellers to continue to stay vigilant all the time,” he said.

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