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 9 January 2022:
Who can enter and who can’t?
In an updated directive on 2 December 2021, travellers from South Africa, Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia, Zimbabwe and Malawi are forbidden from participating. However, citizens of the said countries who haven’t set foot in their homeland for the past 14 days can partake in the Langkawi international tourism bubble.
The announcement is in line with the Malaysian government’s comprehensive strategy to prevent Omicron from establishing roots in the country. Citizens from other countries deemed high risks could also be denied entry in the future.
On top of that, 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.
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)
- Booking or payment of compulsory Covid-19 screening tests
- Tour guide
- Itinerary of the tour package
- Estimated time of arrival and departure
Enrol in insurance
An insurance policy worth US$80,000 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.
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.
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 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. You may download it here.
Getting into Langkawi via KLIA1 (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 KLIA1, 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 at KLIA1. The test must be factored into the tour package. Click here for more details about the swab test.
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 necessary), 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 at KLIA1 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 KLIA1 or stay overnight at any permitted area at KLIA1.
Getting into Langkawi (non-stop) via Penang (technical 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.
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 required to undergo a Covid-19 RT-PCR / RMT test on day 3 and 5. Self-testing via Antigen test kits on day 2, 4 and 6, as well as reporting the result on MySejahtera.
Staying in Langkawi for an extended period or travel to other parts of Malaysia:
International tourists are limited to Langkawi until the 7th day.
Tourists are required to undergo a Covid-19 RT-PCR / RMT test on day 3 and 5. Self-testing via Antigen test kits on day 2, 4 and 6, as well as reporting the result on MySejahtera. Tourists are required to undergo a Covid-19 RT-PCR / RMT test 2 days before onwards traveling to other parts of Malaysia.
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.
Hero and feature images by The Ritz-Carlton, Langkawi