KUALA LUMPUR -- Malaysia will reopen its borders fully from April 1 and allow entry without quarantine for visitors vaccinated against COVID-19, Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob said on Tuesday.
Malaysia has since March 2020 maintained some of the tightest entry curbs in Asia to try to contain coronavirus outbreaks, with most foreign nationals barred from entry and returning Malaysians required to undergo quarantine.
The Southeast Asian country will begin a transition to the endemic phase of COVID-19 from next month, Ismail Sabri said in a televised address.
The reopening follows similar steps taken by neighbors Thailand, Cambodia, Philippines, Vietnam and Indonesia, with quarantine waived for vaccinated travellers with negative COVID-19 tests before departure and after arrival.
Malaysian nationals barred from leaving the country for more than a year can fully resume international travel, Ismail Sabri said, adding that travel agreements with other countries including Brunei, Thailand and Indonesia were in the works in addition to one with Singapore announced last year.
He also said restrictions on business operating hours, gatherings, social distancing and interstate travel would be eased.