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Malaysia closed to tourists until December

Malaysia closed to tourists until December

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia has announced that the country’s Recovery Movement Control Order (RMCO), which maintains strict travel restrictions, will remain in place until Dec 31, 2020.

By TTR Weekly

Tuesday 1 September 2020, 12:51PM

Image: via TTR Weekly

Image: via TTR Weekly

Initially, the RMCO was due to expire on Aug 31, reports TTR Weekly.

As long as the RMCO is in place, foreigners who have a ‘social visit pass’ (tourist visa) that expired after Jan 1, 2020 will be permitted to leave Malaysia without incurring any fines or penalties. The concession does not apply to social visit passes that expired before Jan 1, 2020.

Thailand has given foreigners a much shorter grace period that ends on Sept 26. Foreigners will need to apply for a visa extension or leave Thailand to avoid penalties by the deadline.

Travel to Malaysia will continue to have strict controls with foreigners needing to obtain a ‘Letter of Undertaking and Indemnity’ approved by the nearest Malaysian consulate or embassy in addition to an appropriate visa. However, leisure travellers will not be permitted to visit Malaysia as long as the RMCO is in place. Entry is limited to travellers who have families in Malaysia and for essential travel linked to business and investment activities.

All travellers who are permitted to enter Malaysia must undertake mandatory 14-day quarantine.

Thailand follows similar protocols, strictly applying the 14-quarantine rule but offering travellers arriving in Bangkok what it calls “alternative state quarantine” in certified hotels that are linked to hospitals. They charge around B50,000 to B70,000 for the 14-day stay, including three meals a day and COVID-19 tests.

Thailand is currently confusing overseas tour operators with contradictory statements by leaders who in the space of a few days suggest they are opening the borders gradually to limited travel and then contradict themselves just days later by suggesting the opposite, noted the TTR Weekly report.

There are various programmes bandied about by the media, but due to the 14-day quarantine rule, they would appeal only to long-stay visitors (six months or more) repeat travellers who are prepared to buy into expensive schemes to return to Thailand.


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Svcoquette | 01 September 2020 - 16:55:31

We are Americans and the US embassy in Bangkok has said they will not offer extension letters. During the RMCO order Malaysian ports are closed to foreign yachts. So we and many other yachts are stuck here in Phuket. We keep spending money though and love the friendly people. At 67 yrs young we feel safe here as Thailand has done an excellent job dealing with the virus.

Svcoquette | 01 September 2020 - 16:44:18

Thailand should follow Malaysia's example and extend all VISA s further until 31 December. Hold on to the tourists you have. My wife and I arrived here on our yacht from Malaysia. We can not return to Malaysia and adter 26 Sept it will be difficult or impossible to stay. Many other yachts are in the same difficult situation. We feel safe here  and would not consider leaving on an airplane. 


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