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Malaysian Association of Hotels welcomes relaxation of restrictions on business travellers

PETALING JAYA (March 4): The Malaysian Association of Hotels (MAH) has welcomed the move by the government to allow business travellers into the country with the relaxation of restrictions on business travellers, The Star reported today.

MAH chief executive officer Yap Lip Seng (pictured) told the daily that such a decision “is a huge step forward”.

“MAH is in full support of the move, where the industry had previously proposed similar procedures.

“Though limited to only business travellers at the moment, we are confident that it can be further fine-tuned and improved for other target groups,” Yap said.

Meeawnhile, Lagenda Properties Bhd managing director Datuk Jimmy Doh told The Star that business travellers “are an important part of the tourism economy”.

“This step is a positive move towards normalcy, which will bolster the plans to bring in investments, especially when the vaccine programme has already been planned.

“However, as the curve has just started to flatten again, it would be good to see caution exercised by the authorities,” he said.

Yesterday, Bernama reported that the government opened borders to business travellers with the launch of Malaysia’s Safe Travel portal which is designed to facilitate the entry of business travellers into the country. 

The Malaysian Investment Development Authority said the portal, which was fully operational effective yesterday, contains information and advisory services for both short- and long-term business travellers.

Short-term business travellers, that is those who are not holding any passes and intend to stay in the country for 14 days or less, may be considered for exemption from mandatory quarantine, subject to the approval of the One Stop Centre (OSC) Committee and adherence to strict standard operating procedures (SOPs). 

Short-term business travellers are categorised as potential investors seeking to do business in Malaysia; existing investors such as business owners, board members, executives, and associates of companies in Malaysia (without Employment Pass); business customers for product qualification and validation before commercial production; and technical experts for ad-hoc emergency cases to serve single or multiple customers across Malaysia. 

Meanwhile, for long-term business travellers with valid passes and intend to stay in the country for more than 14 days, they will be subject to mandatory quarantine as per the Ministry of Health's guidelines. 

They are categorised as new or existing expatriates stranded abroad, namely active holders of Employment Pass and Resident Pass-Talent and new or existing foreign technical experts stranded abroad with Professional Visit Pass to serve multiple customers across Malaysia. 

Additionally, they are frequent foreign business travellers (exit and return), permanent resident pass holders, Malaysia My 2nd Home Social Visit pass holders, frequent Malaysian business travellers (exit and return), and Social Visit pass holders. 

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