Open international borders with less hassle: Matta


THE Malaysian Association of Tour and Travel Agents (Matta) has urged the government to open international borders for fully vaccinated travellers into and out of Malaysia with lesser restrictions and hassle.

Matta Outbound VP Cynthia Tan said it is the right step to promote travel and tourism, especially with the higher vaccinated rate.

“Many other countries have already started to make travel and tourism so much easier with less restrictions, such as in the United Kingdom, several other European countries, and nearer to our countries like Cambodia, Thailand, the Philippines and Australia,” Tan said in a statement today.

She opined that the new standard operating procedures (SOPs) for Malaysians travelling abroad should be the same as Umrah pilgrims.

“We believe the new SOPs have been well considered . Hence, we urge the government to also allow Malaysians to travel out of the country for business or leisure to follow similar guidelines and SOPs.

“Similarly, for returning Malaysians, the Home Quarantine Application (HQA) should be withdrawn as per requirement from the Health Ministry,” she  added.

She acknowledged the government’s concern for the health and safety of the people in Malaysia by taking a risk-based and measured approach to re-open international borders, however, she stressed that Malaysia cannot be closed much longer.

“Many other countries were also affected by the pandemic, and after two years have now reopened their borders for people to travel in and out of the country following safe and health protocols,” she noted.

She said Covid-19 has caused a huge crisis in the tourism economy, giving an immense shock to the sector and the people involved in it resulting in huge financial losses and high unemployment .

“The government must take an immediate approach by reopening the international borders for travellers and working with businesses to revive and rebuild the tourism industry,” she said, adding that it would be in line  with the government’s preparation for the endemic stage.

“The people will be wise to follow the SOPs and to abide by safe and health protocols when they travel,” she further said.