‘Travel cards will be issued’

SEPANG: International arrivals will be issued with a “travellers card” to ensure hassle-free travel once Malaysia fully reopens its borders on April 1, says Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin.

“The Health Ministry has been working closely with the Transport Ministry to provide a safe and seamless travel.

“It will be a pre-departure condition for travellers intending to visit the country to download the MySejahtera app, and upload their tests results and fill in a form.

“They will then be issued a travellers card on MySejahtera, before being allowed to board the aircraft at the port of origin,” Khairy said after accompanying Transport Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wee Ka Siong on a visit to KLIA yesterday to check on preparations to receive the mass arrival of air travellers beginning April.

On March 8, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob announced that Malaysia will reopen its borders to travellers as the nation moves towards the “transition to endemic” phase for Covid-19.

Foreigners and Malaysians who have been fully vaccinated against Covid-19 will no longer need to quarantine when they arrive.

However, they must undergo a RT-PCR (polymerase chain reaction) test two days before departure, and a professionally-administered antigen rapid test (ART) within 24-hours upon arrival.

Testing 1,2,3: Khairy testing the Covid-19 breathalyser at KL International Airportaccompanied by Dr Wee (third from right).Testing 1,2,3: Khairy testing the Covid-19 breathalyser at KL International Airportaccompanied by Dr Wee (third from right).

Also to be introduced under a pilot project to cater for the reopening of borders, Khairy said, was the option for travellers to take a Covid-19 breathalyser test instead of the professionally-administer ART.

“Travellers have the option to take the breathalyser test at the airport instead of the ART, which is required to be done within 24 hours upon arrival.

“We have tested the accuracy of the breathalysers, and are satisfied with the results,” he said, adding that this new protocol would speed up the process of managing arrivals at the airport.

He noted that these new protocols for the reopening of borders would help travellers reduce time spent at the airport upon their arrival.

“It currently takes about an hour to get out of the airport upon disembarking from the airplane,” said Khairy, who added that under the new protocol, the time should be shortened to between 35 and 45 minutes, just as how it was like before, with the cost for the breathalyser test borne by the travellers.

Khairy also announced that the government will no longer provide free PCR tests for Malaysians returning to the country, like what was done over the last two years.

Meanwhile, Dr Wee said airlines have been informed of the new protocols for entering Malaysia beginning April 1.

He said the pre-departure conditions imposed on travellers will ensure safety. On the Vaccinated Travel Lane, he said a total of 277,800 visitors had entered the country using the arrangement since it was introduced.

Dr Wee added that the reopening of the country’s borders to travellers will help spur the nation’s economy towards recovery.

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