There’s more travel simplicity in store for the Asia-Pacific region, with the announcement that those heading to Malaysia from 1st August 2022 are no longer required to complete the Traveller’s Card within the MySejahtera app prior to departure.
This form required you to provide your passport information and state your flight and accommodation details, but had already been removed for Malaysian nationals, regardless of whether they were visiting the country (e.g. Malaysian Singapore residents) or were returning home from a trip.
The latest relaxation follows the removal of pre-departure testing for fully vaccinated travellers heading to Malaysia on 1st May 2022, though the country continues to require at least five days of quarantine for unvaccinated travellers, and insists on a booster dose to meet the “fully vaccinated” definition in some cases.
Traveller’s Card scrapped
Non-Malaysians arriving in Malaysia from overseas on or before 31st July 2022 were required to complete the Traveller’s Card within the MySejahtera app prior to departure.
In theory your MySejahtera app including your completed health declaration was checked by immigration officials on arrival in Malaysia, in order for you to enter the country, but in our experience this was never done.
We have travelled from Singapore to Malaysia twice by air and once by land since the borders were relaxed, both during and after the ‘VTL days’, and we have never been asked to show the Traveller’s Card, MySejahtera app or proof of vaccination by any immigration officer.
Only our airline (Jetstar and Malaysia Airlines respectively) has requested to see the documents at the check-in desk, but after that the form was never asked for.
Its removal will therefore likely speed up your departure check-in process, rather than making things any quicker once you arrive in Malaysia.
Malaysia latest entry process
Travellers heading to Malaysia will now need to meet the following requirements, regardless of whether they arrive by land or air from any overseas country, including Singapore.
from 1st August 2022
* This process does not need to be repeated if you have already verified your vaccination status previously (e.g. on a previous trip to Malaysia) and your MySejahtera app status shows “Fully Vaccinated”
Note that children aged 17 and below can follow the quarantine-free arrival process for fully vaccinated travellers, regardless of their actual vaccination status, without showing any vaccination or test certificates.
Both processes can be followed by Malaysians or non-citizens, including arrival of unvaccinated travellers with five days quarantine.
Fully vaccinated definition
Depending on the COVID-19 vaccine you received and your age, you may be considered fully vaccinated for the purposes of travel to Malaysia with one, two or three vaccine doses, as outlined in the following table.
In particular, our readers vaccinated in Singapore should note that a booster dose of Pfizer, Moderna or Novavax is required to be considered fully vaccinated, for those aged 60 or over.
Malaysia will also accept COVID-19 vaccines that are not listed under the World Health Organisation’s Emergency Use Listing, but are approved by regulatory agencies in other countries.
Full details are available here.
Malaysia – Singapore process
Fully vaccinated travellers returning from Malaysia to Singapore will follow the latest Vaccinated Travel Framework (VTF) process, as outlined below, which is already test-free and quarantine-free.
Singapore Vaccinated Travel Framework
- Be fully vaccinated with a WHO-approved vaccine, or be aged 12 or under in the current calendar year (i.e. born in 2010 or later, for 2022 arrivals)
- Submit your SG Arrival Card (SGAC) within three days of arrival to Singapore
- Apply for an entry visa (for visa-required nationalities only)
- Take any flight from or via any country to Singapore and enter quarantine-free, or enter via sea from Indonesia or by land from Malaysia
Singapore Citizens, Permanent Residents and Long-Term pass holders are exempt from the requirement to complete the SGAC when arriving via the land border from Malaysia, but must still complete it when arriving by air.
Vaccination requirements will surely be scrapped next
Unlike some other countries in the region, Malaysia has not yet removed quarantine for unvaccinated travellers, with Singapore also maintaining a similar stance, but this requirement is now surely becoming time-limited.
Like testing requirements, COVID-19 vaccination is progressively being dropped as a prerequisite for travel to many countries in the Asia-Pacific region.
There is now no requirement for tourist visitors to be fully vaccinated or complete any COVID-19 tests in order to make quarantine-free trips to:
Additionally, unvaccinated travellers can make quarantine-free trips to the following countries, with a negative COVID-19 test:
Countries in Europe have traditionally taken the lead with COVID-19 restriction relaxations that eventually make their way to Asia, and places like the UK, France, Germany, Switzerland and Italy have now ditched all COVID-19 entry regulations.
This part of the world following suit is almost inevitable, which is good news for more travel simplicity to come.
Post-COVID travel to Malaysia is now simpler than ever, with the requirement for foreigners to complete a Traveller’s Card prior to departure now axed.
It wasn’t checked on arrival in Malaysia anyway, in our experience, with only your airline at check in following the process, so this change will hopefully speed up the departure airport experience significantly.
Differentiated measures for unvaccinated travellers remain, as they do in Singapore, but there seems to be only one direction for this requirement. Going forward, a relaxation here also seems inevitable.
(Cover Photo: Shutterstock)