Malaysia reopens borders to vaccinated passengers after two years of travel restrictions

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KUALA LUMPUR, April 1 (Reuters) – Malaysia fully reopened its borders on Friday, lifting quarantine requirements for those vaccinated against COVID-19 after two years of strict travel restrictions.

The Southeast Asian nation has maintained some of the toughest entry restrictions in the region in an attempt to contain coronavirus outbreaks, with most foreign nationals barred from entry and returning Malaysians to be placed in quarantine.

A flight carrying 140 passengers from Indonesia to Kuala Lumpur was greeted with a watery salute after landing.

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“Because of the pandemic, it was hard but finally I managed to get on a plane after so long. And it’s good that we are welcomed so warmly here,” said Ikrima Irza Fatika, 19, a Indonesian female traveler visiting the capital. .

The reopening of borders marks the start of the country’s transition to the endemic phase of COVID-19, the government has said, and comes as neighboring countries such as Indonesia, Singapore and Thailand are also dropping most travel restrictions. .

Malaysia expects to attract two million tourists this year after restrictions are lifted, Tourism Minister Nancy Shukri has said, according to the official Bernama news agency.

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Reporting by Ebrahim Harris; Editing by Kanupriya Kapoor and Nick Macfie

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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