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COVID-19: Malaysia drops testing requirements

COVID-19: Malaysia drops testing requirements

From 1 May, Malaysia is dropping its pre-departure and on-arrival testing requirements for incoming vaccinated travellers. They are also dropping their US$20,000 COVID-19 insurance requirement.

Mask wearing will still be required indoors, but optional outdoors. There are exceptions for exercising, eating and drinking.

Hospital admissions in Malaysia caused by COVID-19 have been dropping, which helped precipitate the decision.

Prior to the pandemic, Malaysia had around 26 million visitors to its capital Kuala Lumpur, Penang and Langkawi.

Malaysian Airlines

The country’s airline has had a mixed history of late, with an eclectic mix of aircraft, alleged overstaffing, and corruption. The relaxation of testing protocols should increase tourism, and increase passenger loads for Malaysian Airlines.

Oneworld member and Qantas partner, Malaysian Airlines currently flies to Australian capital cities including Adelaide, Brisbane, Melbourne, Perth and Sydney, all using an A330, with the exception of a 737 servicing Perth.

a room with chairs and tables
Malaysian Gold Lounge, Heathrow T4 – now closed

2PAXfly Takeout

This is another timely reminder to wear your seatbelt when seated. Holding you close to your seat will protect you from the sort of injuries sustained on this flight, when unsecured passengers flew to the ceiling of the aircraft, and then came crashing down once the ‘drop’ ceased.

The hope will be that this is an anomaly – a ‘freak accident’ in casual parlance. If it is a systemic error either mechanical or electronic, then this is a larger concern for the airlines that fly Boeing Dreamliner 787 aircraft. Let’s hope it isn’t. If it is, it will pile on the woes to Boeing’s existing stack.

The last time I travelled on Malaysian Airlines was back in June/July 2015 to Europe on a combination of A330 and A380’s, unfortunately no longer operating. The lounge in Kuala Lumpur was a bit pedestrian, but the flight service was good. They were also running a rather sensational special on business class airfares at the time.

Dropping the pre and post-testing regime puts Malaysia in line with Thailand and Singapore, which have also recently dropped their compulsory COVID testing.

Although the risk of COVID is still there, and Australia has had more deaths so far in 2022 than it did in 2020 and 2021, it is good to see that high vaccination rates are allowing travel to return to something like normal.

I still wear a mask where there are lots of people, like in shopping centres, and encourage others to do the same. It’s a simple way to protect yourself and others and reduce infection rates.

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