The Malaysian prime minister announced on 8 March 20221 that Malaysia will transition to an “endemic” phase of the coronavirus health emergency and re-open its borders from 1 April 2022.
In the endemic phase, the coronavirus-related travel restrictions and standard operations procedures (SOP) are eased as follows:
1) abolishment of MyTravelPass (MTP) entry approval for travellers to enter Malaysia2;
2) fully vaccinated travellers are not required to undergo quarantine.
WHY THIS MATTERS
With the re-opening, it is expected that planning for international assignments and business trips to Malaysia – which have been much delayed or cancelled due to the entry restrictions – can now resume. While MTP approval is not required, travellers are still required to observe entry requirements imposed by the Ministry of Health.
Companies and global-mobility professionals in charge of the immigration affairs of their employees, as well as immigration counsel, should be aware of these updates to stay current on restrictions while planning for Malaysia-inbound business travel and assignments to Malaysia.
Abolishment of MyTravelPass (MTP) Entry Approval for Travellers to Enter Malaysia
Since 13 January 2022, a traveller who has obtained a long-term Pass approval is exempted from applying for entry approval to enter Malaysia.3 In conjunction with the re-opening from 1 April 2022, travellers on social visits may enter Malaysia without applying for entry approval.4 However, nationals from visa-required countries will still need to apply for visas at the Malaysian Embassy or through e-VISA online, depending on eligibility criteria.
Failure to obtain the entry visa prior to entry into Malaysia may mean an individual could be denied entry to the country and charged with ‘Not to Land’ (NTL) for deportation.
Fully Vaccinated Travellers Are Not Required to Undergo Quarantine
A traveller who is fully vaccinated or contracted COVID-19 within 60 days before arrival, is not required to undergo quarantine.5 The traveller, however, must install the MySejahtera mobile app and complete the “Pre-departure” form available in the traveller icon in the app. Upon arrival, the traveller’s temperature will be checked and he/she will be required to take the RTK-Ag (Professional) test within 24 hours of arriving at the airport/health facility, hotel, or home.
The requirement to take the RT-PCR test two days before departure remains unchanged.
On the other hand, if the traveller is not fully vaccinated, the traveller will have to undergo five (5) days of quarantine and take the RT-PCR test on day four (4) and RTK-Ag test on day five (5) before release from quarantine. If the traveller is unvaccinated due to a medical reason, the Ministry of Health will perform an assessment on a case-by-case basis.
With the re-opening and relaxing of requirements, it is expected that business travellers, investors, and expatriates will very soon start making arrangements for travel to/from Malaysia. It is important to also know that:
- wearing of face masks is still mandatory in public areas,
- registering of entry in premises for contact tracing is necessary, and
- reporting of COVID-19 infection through the MySejahtera app is still required.
1 Kenyataan Media Berkaitan Fasa Peralihan Ke Endemik (8 March 2022) at: https://www.pmo.gov.my/2022/03/kenyataan-media-berkaitan-fasa-peralihan-ke-endemik/.
2 See the Malaysia government's Facebook posting: "1 April 2022 Permulaan Baharu Untuk Malaysia, Beralih Ke Fasa Endemik COVID-19" at: https://www.facebook.com/imigresen/posts/269038082074491.
3 See "Exemption of the MyEntry/ MyTravelpass Permission Entering Malaysia" on the Expatriate Services Division webpage at: https://esd.imi.gov.my/portal/latest-news/announcement/exemption-myentry-mytravelpass/ .
4 See "Protokol Untuk Pengembara Yang Tiba Di Sempadan Antarabangsa Malaysia" on the government's COVID-19 webpage: https://covid-19.moh.gov.my/reopeningsafely/makluman/2022/03/protokol-untuk-pengembara-yang-tiba-di-sempadan-antarabangsa-malaysia.
5 See "Pengujian Dan Kuarantin Bagi Pengembara" on the government's COVID-19 webpage: https://covid-19.moh.gov.my/reopeningsafely/makluman/2022/03/pengujian-dan-kuarantin-bagi-pengembara.
* Please note the KPMG International member firm in the United States does not provide immigration or labour law services. However, KPMG Law LLP in Canada can assist clients with U.S. immigration matters.
The information contained in this newsletter was submitted by the KPMG International member firm in Malaysia.
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