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Malaysia's main resort islands may reopen in early September, says tourism minister

Malaysia's main resort islands may reopen in early September, says tourism minister
Langkawi's beaches typically attract millions of tourists every year. (File photo: Prisca Wong)

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia's Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture (MOTAC) expects top resort islands such as Langkawi, Pangkor, Redang, Tioman and Perhentian to achieve herd immunity by the end of August and be ready for reopening early next month.

Tourism minister Nancy Shukri said that this would, however, also depend on a decision from the government and standard operating procedures being set.

“The decision to reopen the tourism sector must be made after an in-depth study and with great care to prevent an outbreak which may cause the sector to be closed again. At the same time, MOTAC is updating and finalising the SOPs for the tourism sector," she said in a statement on Saturday (Aug 14).

According to Nancy, she had a virtual session with 15 representatives from the tourism industry to prepare them for the reopening of the tourism sector, especially those operating the popular resort islands in the country.

The session was also in line with the recent announcement by Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin on the easing of measures for those who are fully vaccinated

Nancy said she hoped that all parties involved could move in one direction for the smooth execution of the strategic plan.

Among those involved in the online meeting with the minister were representatives from the Malaysian Association of Hotels, the Malaysian Association of Tour and Travel Agents and the Association of Malaysian Spas.

Malaysia reported 20,670 new COVID-19 cases and 260 deaths from the disease on Saturday, according to health director-general Noor Hisham Abdullah.

A total of 31.1 per cent of the country’s population, or 10,144,199 people, had received both doses of a COVID-19 vaccine as of Friday, said Health Minister Adham Baba.

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Source: Others/Bernama/kg

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