As Malaysia’s current gateway for international tourists, Langkawi’s requirements for travellers include screening tests before departure and upon arrival.
The country’s first international travel bubble scheme to Langkawi that began yesterday is exercising a requirement for tourists to stay a minimum of seven days on the island before proceeding to visit other locations.
Langkawi Development Authority (Lada) chief executive officer Nasaruddin Abdul Mutallib said the requirement was introduced seeing how Langkawi is currently poised as an international gateway – despite there currently being no direct international flights to the island.
“The government decided that international tourists are required to stay at least seven days in Langkawi before they are allowed to visit other destinations in the country,” he said a press conference at his office in Kuah yesterday.
As for tourists only planning on staying in Langkawi, Nasaruddin confirms that they will only need to stay for a minimum duration of three days.
“For those just travelling to Langkawi, the minimum stay period under the pilot international travel bubble is three days,” he said.
International tourists planning on visiting Langkawi might fare better engaging travel agencies who are better equipped to manage all Covid-19 screening process requirements. This includes making sure all travellers are informed of and carry out their individual Covid-19 screening tests prior to departure from the original location, and upon arrival into Malaysia. In fact, the international travel bubble requirements stipulate that they use a local travel agent, which might complicate matters, as many agents in Langkawi primarily focus on the domestic market and are largely unknown to a global audience.
Authorities courted a fair bit of derision and criticism for only gazetting the SOPs for the international Langkawi travel bubble on the afternoon of the day it actually commenced, despite announcing the initiative a full month ago. It’s unclear what they’ve been doing in the interim, but stories were already popping up of travellers abroad who listed Langkawi as their final destination – usually connecting in Singapore and/or KLIA – being denied boarding on the first day of the travel bubble scheme as the SOPs had not been communicated to airlines… or anyone else for that matter.
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