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The complete guide on the Langkawi international travel bubble for foreign tourists

Everything about the Langkawi international travel bubble.

Since 15 November 2021, international tourism has resumed in Langkawi under the international travel bubble initiative as part of the greater effort to revive the island’s ravaged economy brought upon by the Covid-19 pandemic and concomitant border closure. While domestic tourists, including expats, can freely enter the island, those travelling from abroad face sterner restrictions. Due to the fluidity of the pandemic which requires agile responses to combat the propagation of the virus and its many infectious strains, criteria imposed upon the travel bubble scheme are altered intermittently. Numerous amendments have been made since its inauguration, with the latest necessitated by Omicron. 

The SOPs for the Langkawi international travel bubble published below are correct as of 26 February 2022: 

Who can enter and who can’t? 

In a previous directive issued on 17 December 2021, travellers from South Africa, Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia, Zimbabwe and Malawi were forbidden from participating. However, based on the latest update, the prohibition has been scraped. The directive no longer appears on the Tourism Ministry’s portal.

Individuals tested positive for Covid-19 or who are a close contact to Covid patients are not allowed to travel to Langkawi. So are free independent travellers. Foreign travellers must engage a tour operator or travel agent in Malaysia or through a foreign representative using the services of a Malaysian tour operator or travel agent registered with and licensed by Malaysia’s Tourism Ministry. 

Check here for a list of approved operators.  

The Spa (Image credit: The Datai Langkawi)

Tour packages must include: 

  • Particulars of the tour operator or travel agent including the licence number 
  • Round trip flight tickets (either purchased directly with the airline or through a tour operator or travel agent) 
  • Accommodation 
  • Booking or payment of compulsory Covid-19 screening tests 
  • Tour guide  
  • Itinerary of the tour package 

Enrol in insurance 

An insurance policy worth US$50,000 for Covid-19 and travel coverage. It can be purchased from a Malaysian or foreign insurance company before departure and incorporated into the tourist package by the tour operator or travel agent.  

Insurance policies offered along with flight tickets or accommodation are also accepted so long as the coverage is for Covid-19 and travel.  

The insurance must include:

  • Daily quarantine facility expenses
  • Emergency medical transportation by air/ sea to the nearest private medical facility following a positive COVID-19 diagnosis (Categories 3-5)
  • Emergency medical expenses for treating illness or injury
  • Mortuary and burial services
  • Daily isolation facility expenses

Which vaccines are acceptable? 

Travellers must be fully vaccinated with vaccines approved by Malaysia’s Ministry of Health. As of 22 November 2021, they are Comirnaty (Pfizer-BioNTech), Covishield (Oxford-AstraZeneca), CoronaVac (Sinovac), Convidecia (CanSino), Covid-19 Janssen (Johnson & Johnson), Covilo (Sinopham), Spikevax (Moderna), Sputnik V (Gam-Covid-Vac), and Covaxin (Bharat). 

To be deemed fully vaccinated, it must be 14 days after the second dose or after 28 days of the single dose, depending on the type of vaccine. 

Can children travel? 

Yes, provided they are accompanied by fully vaccinated parents or guardians. Children aged 12 and below are exempted to provide their vaccination status. 

The Westin Langkawi Resort & Spa pool villa
(Photo: The Westin Langkawi Resort & Spa)

What to do before departing for Langkawi? 

Travellers must undergo a Covid-19 RT-PCR / RMT screening 2 days prior to departure. The test result must be provided in a printed or digital format and be shown to the authorities upon request. Ensure any supporting document is written in English. 

Download and register for the MySejahtera application on mobile phones and fill in the health information and complete the MySejahtera Travel Form. For Android devices, download here, while iPhone users can obtain it here. Complete the mandatory health declaration form in the app.

Getting into Langkawi via KLIA1 or klia2 (transit): 

The luggage must be checked directly to Langkawi for airlines with a code-sharing agreement (codeshare) with Malaysia Airlines or by interline arrangement.  

Upon arrival at the airport, tourists are fitted with an identification tag by a private health screening operator.  

The tourist’s vaccination certificate, health declaration form, proof of insurance and MySejahtera will all be vetted. 

Scan the “Langkawi Island International Tourism Bubble Traveller” QR code. 

Undergo another Covid-19 RT-PCR / RMT screening. The test must be factored into the tour package. Click here for more details about the swab test. 

Children below the age of 2 are exempted from Covid-19 screenings.

Only tourists with negative results are cleared and can proceed to the Immigration Department counter for further processing. Documents required include the passport, visa (if applicable), printed round trip flight tickets, and printed tour packages. 

In the event the tourist is found symptomatic or positive, the private facility screening operator is responsible for arranging the transfer of the tourist to designated private isolation/ quarantine locations (for categories 1 & 2) or private hospitals (for categories 3,4 & 5). 

The transit interval should be 5 to 6 hours before the next connecting domestic flight to Langkawi.

Due to unforeseen reasons, tourists who can’t travel onwards to Langkawi on the same day can check into Hotel Sama-Sama Express or stay overnight at any permitted area at the airport. 

Upon arrival in Langkawi, tourists can start the tour and do not have to take the screening test on the second day.

For tourists entering through KLIA or klia2 who will stay in Langkawi not exceeding 72 hours, they do not need to undergo the PCR or RMT test before flying out of Malaysia.

If the test conducted at KLIA or klia2 has exceeded 72 hours, tourists must undergo the PCR or RMT screening before departing from Langkawi to KLIA or klia2 for the next flight.

Getting into Langkawi (non-stop):  

Upon arrival at the Langkawi International Airport, tourists must proceed to the Ministry of Health counter for inspection and quarantine clearance. 

Tourists must present the vaccination certificate, pre-departure printed Covid-19 RT-PCR / RMT results, health declaration form, proof of insurance and MySejahtera for inspection. 

Scan the “Langkawi Island International Tourism Bubble Traveller” QR code. 

This is followed by another screening at the Immigration Department counter. Documents required include the passport, visa (if necessary), printed round trip flight tickets, and printed tour packages. 

Thereafter, the tourist is whisked to the accommodation.  

Another Covid-19 RT-PCR / RMT test is carried out on the day of arrival or at the latest the second day arranged by the tour operator. Children below the age of 2 are exempted from screenings. 

While awaiting the test result, tourists are allowed to go to the hotel and will be issued a Home Surveillance Order digitally through the MySejahtera application.

Tourists can continue their tour after obtaining negative test results. 

In the event the tourist is found symptomatic or positive, the tour operator is responsible for reporting. The tourist is dispatched to designated private isolation/ quarantine locations (for categories 1 & 2) or private hospitals (for categories 3,4 & 5). 

When you are in Langkawi: 

It is compulsory to wear a face mask in public areas and vehicles. 

Check in using the MySejahtera application at every stop. 

Ensure that the MySejahtera profile is always at the low-risk status. 

How long can you stay on the island? 

One condition for the Langkawi international travel bubble is the imposition of a minimum of a 3-day stay on the island. 

Staying in Langkawi for less than a week: 

Tourists are to undergo RTK-Antigen self-test on Day 2, 4 and 6 upon arrival, as well as RTK-Antigen (Professional) test on Day 3 and 5 upon arrival and must be managed by tour operators.

Staying in Langkawi for an extended period or travel to other parts of Malaysia: 

Tourists are to undergo RTK-Antigen self-test on Day 2, 4 and 6 upon arrival, as well as RTK-Antigen (Professional) test on Day 3 and 5 upon arrival and must be managed by tour operators.

Fully vaccinated tourists with booster may leave Langkawi on Day 5 if the PCR test on Day 4 is negative or RTK (Professional) test on Day 5 is negative.

If the tourist is fully vaccination but without booster, they can proceed to the next destination within Malaysia after Day 7, provided they undergo the PCR or RMT test on Day 7. If the result is negative, they can exit Langkawi through the domestic exit (air or sea) on Day 8. Expect document inspection upon exit.

Holidays can be continued by signing up for another tour package or as free independent travellers.  

For onward travel to Singapore, read our comprehensive guide on the Malaysia-Singapore VTL.

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Hero and feature images by The Ritz-Carlton, Langkawi

The complete guide on the Langkawi international travel bubble for foreign tourists

Justin Ng

Digital Content Director, Kuala Lumpur

Often think of myself as a journalist and so I delve deeper into a range of topics. Talk to me about current affairs, watches, travel, drinks, new experiences and more importantly, the business, economics and dynamics behind it.

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