21 February 2022
125 or two per cent of 4,600 tourists who entered the island under the Langkawi International Travel Bubble (LITB) tested positive for Covid-19 since the programme was launched in November last year.
Langkawi Development Authority (Lada) chief executive officer Nasaruddin Abdul Muttalib however said, the travelers who tested positive for the virus did not develop severe symptoms as they were in Categories 1 and 2.
“Since the LITB was launched on Nov 15 to date, we have received 4,600 international tourists with only two per cent or 125 of them testing positive for Covid-19.
“They (the tourists) did not develop critical symptoms and were placed under quarantine in hotels,” he told reporters after opening the Mangroves Planting Programme in conjunction with the 2022 World Wetlands Day at the Kubang Badak jetty here today.
It was reported in November that the authorities had identified 118 rooms in 20 selected hotels on the island to quarantine tourists who tested positive for Covid-19 upon arrival under LITB.
The LITB was opened for fully vaccinated tourists from selected nations in a move to revive the island’s tourism sector which was badly hit following the virus outbreak in early 2020.
Meanwhile, Nasarudin said Lada welcomed the federal government’s recent announcement to extend the LITB with reviewed Standard Operating Procedures (SOP).
“The arrival of tourists under LITB has been adjusted according to the latest guidelines set by the Health Ministry and gazetted on Feb 16.
“Among others, tourists are allowed to enter Langkawi via the Klia2 besides the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA).
He said Lada also welcomed the government’s move to reduce the mandatory insurance policy coverage value for tourists from US$80,000 to US$50,000.
“Under the reviewed SOPs, tourists are now allowed to travel to other destinations in the country after staying four days in Langkawi, as compared to previous requirements of an eight-day stay on the island.
“We are confident that with the enhanced SOPs, the number of tourist arrivals under the LITB will continue to rise,” he said.
Last Tuesday, the Tourism, Arts and Culture Ministry announced that the LITB will be extended until the country’s borders are fully reopened.
The ministry said the LITB would be continued with revised SOPs based on the Health Ministry’s latest requirements on Feb 8.
It was also announced that starting Feb 22, foreign tourists can also enter the island via domestic flights from Klia2.
The tourists are required to purchase an insurance policy worth US$50,000 (Covid-19 and travel) for the duration of their stay, which can be purchased from a Malaysian or foreign insurance company before departure to Malaysia and can be packaged into a tourist package by tour operators or travel agents.
Under the latest SOPs, children aged 12 and below are allowed to enter the island with their fully-vaccinated parents or guardians, without having to show proof of vaccination while children below two do not have to undergo Covid-19 screening tests.
Fully-vaccinated tourists with booster shots may now leave Langkawi on day five if they test negative for Covid-19 using the Reverse Transcription-Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR) test on day four, or using the Antigen Rapid Test Kit (RTK-Ag) on day five.
However, Malaysian citizens living abroad are exempted from this requirement.
The LITB started off as a three-month pilot project on Nov 15 last year to assess the readiness and preparedness of Malaysia’s tourism ecosystem to gradually receive international tourists in a safe manner.
According to the ministry, the LITB programme would be the benchmark for the reopening of Malaysia’s international borders.
Did you find what you are looking for? Try out the enhanced Google Search: