A total of 149 people who visited Kedah through the Langkawi Travel Bubble programme since September 16 have been found to be Covid-19 positive after being tested with the Antigen Rapid Test Kits (RTK-Ag).
Health director-general Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham in a statement today said so far 186 people have been identified to be their close contacts.
He added that collectively, 40,458 people had been screened throughout the duration of the programme’s implementation of about two weeks.
The number above includes those who had opted to do the real-time reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) tests themselves and tested negative before leaving for Langkawi.
“This (total) involves 34,038 people who were screened at seven airport entry gates and 6,420 people through ferry at Kuala Perlis and Kuala Kedah,” he added.
Langkawi Travel Bubble
In a virtual press conference yesterday, Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Nancy Shukri has shared more details on the upcoming Langkawi travel bubble plan, which starts on September 16. Here is a gist of the latest updates:
Only fully-vaccinated people are allowed (including those who are residing in states under Phase One)
Those who fully vaccinated but are residing in areas under EMCO will not be entitled
Interested tourists will have a choice between the flight or land routes
Travelling by road: You’ll have to go through a tourist agency OR at least “use transportation services from the start of their journey to the Langkawi ferry jetty”. In addition, the number of passengers allowed per vehicle is subject to the vehicle capacity
Travelling by air: You won’t need to go through a travel agency. Travellers also would not need a permission letter from the police, as clarified in a new tweet by Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin on September 12
Visiting from Kedah/Perlis: No need for a travel agency either
Applying for police permission to travel: Yes, you’ll need a police permit if you’re travelling by land. The travel agencies will assist in applying for the permit from the police. You’ll need to show proof of purchase such as ferry tickets or hotel receipts
Only the following types of vacation trips are allowed: “A day visit, overnight stay, vacation with accommodation booking made in advance and travel packages through a travel company licensed and registered with the ministry”
No age limit: But those under 18 must travel with fully-vaccinated parents
Pre-departure Covid-19 tests are compulsory: In a new statement released on Sept 15, Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin announced that travellers heading to Langkawi under the travel bubble scheme will need to take a Covid-19 test—it can be either an RT-PCR or RTK-Antigen test—before departure. “This can be done at any health facility or private laboratory within 48 hours prior to the departure date. Test results must be brought along for inspection at the entrance (airport or ferry terminal) prior to departure,” he said. Alternatively, travellers can purchase a saliva self-test from the screening centres at the airport or ferry terminal.
Who needs to do the pre-departure Covid-19 tests: Adults aged 18 and above as well as children aged 7-17 years old. Children aged 6 and below will need to undergo symptomatic screening, while taking into account their ability to produce saliva.
Tourism actives that are allowed:
Accommodation: Hotels and homestays, which will also allow the usage of facilities such as surau, swimming pools, gymnasium, lounge, hall and business events.
Activities: Beach activities, water sports, snorkelling, scuba diving, golf, cycling, angling, yachting, as well as geo-travel activities (such as bird watching, caving, hiking and jungle trekking).
Attractions: Fishing tours, edutainment centres, recreation parks, extreme/adventure/nature parks, farms, aquariums, zoos and other leisure, recreational and social activities.
Malaysia continues to inch towards rebuilding the economy and helping its citizens return to some form of normalcy—albeit while still adhering to strict SOPs—with the transition to Phase Two of the National Recovery Plan for some states and the ease of restrictions for those under Phase One. This is especially so for those who are fully vaccinated.