Sarawak mulls reopening border to tourists

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KUCHING: Sarawak hopes to reopen its border to facilitate the tourism industry to resume normal operations following the recent reopening of Langkawi Island to tourists.

Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah disclosed that the federal Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture Datuk Seri Nancy Shukri was mulling permitting Sarawak to reopen to tourists next.

“We may need authorisation from the State Disaster Management Committee (SDMC) and tourism committees to open the border before tourists can enter Sarawak,” he said at a press conference on Friday (Sept 17).

Abdul Karim pointed out that once the decision is made, there would definitely be rules and regulations in place, similar to those on Langkawi Island, which would be implemented prior to visitors entering the state.

The Ministry of Tourism, Arts, and Culture (Motac) had selected Langkawi Island for a pilot project under a travel bubble plan to reopen the island to domestic tourists beginning Thursday (Sept 16) with tight standard operating procedures (SOPs) in place to restrict the spread of the Covid-19.

Among the SOPs include in-bound travellers must take a Covid-19 test within 48 hours and test results must be brought along for inspection at the entry points (of the airport or ferry terminal) prior to departure.

Children below the age of 18 who are not vaccinated are allowed to travel with fully vaccinated parents but those aged seven and above are required to undergo tests, while children aged six and below are required to undergo symptomatic screening and only fully vaccinated adult travellers are permitted to travel if they are Covid negative and not a close contact of positive cases.

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