MAH Sarawak hopes neighbouring countries to reopen borders soon

Date:

KUCHING: Malaysian Association of Hotels (Sarawak Chapter) hopes that neighbouring countries, especially Brunei, Singapore, Thailand and Indonesia, will open up their borders soon, so that the country will receive an influx of foreign tourists.

Its Chairman John Teo said the Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob’s announcement that Malaysia will reopen its borders to international travellers starting April 1, was indeed a welcoming news for the tourism industry.

However, he said, those who will travel overseas now, are mostly for business purposes or students who wanted to further their studies.

“For leisure travel or those going overseas for vacation, the figures will be very minimal,” he said in a statement today.

Besides, Teo said the Sarawak government would be likely to review the standard operating procedures (SOP) for border reopening, or announce some guidelines for the state and Sarawakian to follow in due time.

He said any relaxation of SOP will also encourage the locals to go for interstate travelling, particularly between West Malaysia, Sabah and Sarawak.

“We are expecting more tourists entering Sarawak, however, the figures for foreign tourists will remain low for the first few months until the daily COVID-19 positive cases go down significantly,” he said.

“So, we hope other neighbouring countries, especially Brunei, Singapore, Thailand and Indonesia will reopen their international borders soon as well – to really jump start the tourism industry,” he added.

Teo said travellers and tourists must continue to practice self-testing when traveling around, including before boarding a plane or upon reaching their destination.

“Other SOP such as wearing a mask, social distancing, frequent washing of hands must always be practiced, to protect ourselves, the tourists as well as all the industry players – to ensure the safety of everyone while we start to revive tourism,” he added.

Yesterday, Ismail Sabri announced that Malaysia will reopen its borders to international travellers starting April 1.

The Prime Minister said visitors, as well as Malaysian returnees, who are fully vaccinated are not required to undergo quarantine upon arrival.

They, however, must undergo a RT-PCR test two days before departure and a rapid test (RTK) upon arrival.

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