IPOH: Cyclists who wish to join the upcoming Le Tour de Langkawi (LTdL) must be fully vaccinated, says Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Faizal Azumu.
"All cyclists must be vaccinated before they can participate," he told reporters at the Youth and Sports Carnival at Klebang Restu here Sunday (March 20), noting that international participants would need to be vaccinated anyway to leave their home countries and enter Malaysia.
Two years after the Covid-19 pandemic started, the LTdL is finally holding its 26th edition from June 11 to 18.
It will cover 1,183km with the route covering Kuala Lumpur-Putrajaya-Negri Sembilan-Pahang-Selangor-Perak-Penang-Kedah-Langkawi.
In January, LTdL organiser Human Voyage Sdb Bhd sent an official request to the ministry to postpone the race which was initially scheduled for March following a surge in Covid-19 cases.
Ahmad Faizal also described the tour as a sign to the world that Malaysia was ready to welcome international visitors.
"Not only will cycling fans feel excited about the tour, it will also boost the country's economic activities.
"We hope LTdL can show the world the situation in Malaysia, especially our safety level and strict standard operating procedures for curbing the spread of Covid-19," he said.
He added that the organiser aimed to have 21 teams competing in the prestigious tour.
"Right now we already have five teams registered and more will come soon.
"We might have 18 international and three local teams on the tour," he said.