In a report from Free Malaysia Today on 21st April, 2022 that MATTA laments ‘unnecessary’ RTK test for incoming travelers. The full report as below:
The country’s main association for tour and travel agents has lamented the requirement for incoming travelers to undergo a professionally administered RTK-Antigen (RTK-Ag) test within 24 hours of their arrival, describing it as “unnecessary”.
Malaysian Association of Tour and Travel Agents (MATTA) president Tan Kok Liang said as Malaysia transitioned into the endemic phase, the SOPs must be updated regularly in line with global practices.
He said several countries, including India, Dubai, the UK and the Netherlands, had done away with testing on arrival, while Singapore was looking to do away with tests for fully-vaccinated travellers.
He said testing upon arrival was unnecessary and should be relaxed to make travel arrangements easy and less stressful. “If you have too many procedures that are not regularly updated, tourists will end up booking their holidays elsewhere with fewer requirements,” he told FMT.
Tan acknowledged, however, that Asean countries as a whole were overly cautious compared to the UK, the European Union, the US and Australia.
Aside from undergoing a professionally-administered RTK-Ag test within 24 hours upon arrival, travellers to Malaysia must download and use the MySejahtera app and have travel insurance amounting to at least US$20,000 for Covid-19 treatment.
Malaysian Association of Hotels CEO Yap Lip Seng disagreed with Tan, saying the RTK-Ag requirement was a step in the right direction. But he said the requirements should be well advertised and communicated to travellers promptly. “Every stakeholder plays an important role in doing so,” he said.
Yap said the insurance requirement was essential to ensure that travellers were covered in case they tested positive and needed treatment. He said the lack of awareness, both domestically and internationally, had resulted in travellers facing technical difficulties upon arrival.
Malaysian International Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MICCI) executive director Shaun Cheah felt the costly insurance would deter tourists and casual travellers. “It won’t affect business travellers, but if tourists are deterred, it means the inbound tourism sector will not see a fast economic recovery,” he said.
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