PETALING JAYA (Sept 3): Malaysia is preparing to reopen its long-battered tourism industry with a pilot programme starting from Pulau Langkawi on Sept 16, mirroring Thailand’s Phuket “sandbox” model, reported Bloomberg.

The report, citing Prime Minister Datuk Sri Ismail Sabri Yaakob’s statement on Sept 2, noted that other tourist destinations will be allowed to resume operations once the locality vaccination rate hits 80%.

In Malaysia, as daily Covid-19 cases remain elevated, more than 84% of the adult population has received at least one dose, and 64% has been fully vaccinated, according to the Health Ministry.

Meanwhile, Melaka will progress into the second phase, and Negeri Sembilan into the third stage of the National Recovery Plan from Sept 4, said Ismail.

The decision was made by the National Security Council, which will now be renamed as the Special Committee on Pandemic Management, he said, adding that the committee will include representatives from opposition parties.

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