I have never been to New Zealand. I have been to Perth, Melbourne and Sydney. I do think I want to go to New Zealand sometime in the future and I would definitely want to go to Brisbane, Canberra, Tasmania and more. These two countries will allow travels between one another starting next week. Yes, both have managed to control the COVID-19 pretty well and even though vaccinations have not yet covered a significant portion of the population, they do believe it’s now safe enough for travels between both countries.
Article in nst.com.my. New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said, “I can confirm that quarantine-free travel will begin in just under two weeks at 11:59pm on April 18.” She shared that that New Zealand had just 26 deaths due to COVID-19 in a population of five million and Australia has fewer than 1,000 deaths in a population of 25 million.
She said, “I cannot see or point to any countries in the world that are maintaining a strategy of keeping their countries Covid-free whilst opening up international travel between each other.”
She added, “That means in a way we are world leading.” Please do read the article in full here: Article in nst.com.my
What’s the situation here?
Malaysia’s number of new COVID-19 infections are still above 1,000 and according to some statements, we should only see it going down to a few hundreds per day in May. I am keeping my fingers crossed that this forecast would come true and then perhaps we could see us going back to just hundreds of cases in total by July? Now, we are at over 1,000 new cases PER DAY. Image below shows the new number yesterday, new recovery and total number of cases too. Image source is thestar.com.my
What about travel bubbles between Malaysia and Singapore, at least?
Sabah’s State Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister Jafry Ariffin said, “We are in discussions with Sutera Harbour Resort (SHR) and Sutera @ Mantanani to provide a separate, safe travel route from Singapore directly to Kota Kinabalu and Mantanani island (Kota Belud).” News here.
Tourism Malaysia DG Zulkifly Md says that MALAYSIA is in the process of establishing travel bubbles with several other Asian countries, including Singapore, Brunei, China, Japan, Korea and Taiwan, while the discussions with Indonesia for the same purpose are ongoing. This is essential to revitalise the tourism and culture industry as the country recovers from the Covid-19 pandemic. News here.
Means nothing concrete at the moment
I guess the situation will have to be dependent on new cases etc. As a Malaysian, I also do not wish to have international tourists coming to Malaysia and potentially causing a new strain of COVID-19 and I am sure the other countries also would not feel secure enough if they could see the number of cases in Malaysia is still over one thousand everyday. However, it’s good that discussions start now versus only starting later when everything is back to normal which is quite impossible, not even in 2022 that we will be back to the normal situation like before COVID-19.
What’s sure is that the outlook for this year is by far better than that of 2020. Vaccinations are ongoing and I do think Malaysia is considered quite efficient in this aspect thus far. Just need to make sure this does not slow down because while COVID-19 doses are needed, the registrations for people taking the vaccination injection should also go up faster too. PLEASE do encourage everyone you know to register for the vaccination. Thank you.
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