COVID-19: Malaysia Travel Updates

Malaysia during COVID-19 harith-irfan-wahid

Updated 29th November 2021

See here for Southeast Asia Travel COVID-19 overview.

Related: Pandemic Essentials for Safe Travel.


  • 29th November 2021 – Singapore and Malaysia reopen their land border for vaccinated travellers. Source.
  • 21st November 2021 – Malaysia and Singapore are finalising the VTL for the land border. Source.
  • 11th November 2021 – Malaysia will reopen borders to international tourists from 1st Jan 2022. Source.
  • 10th November 2021 – Malaysia and Indonesia agree on vaccinated travel lane. Source.
  • 8th November 2021 – Singapore and Malaysia agree on vaccinated travel lane for quarantine-free entry. Source.
  • 21st October 2021 – Malaysia could reopen to international tourists in November according to the Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture. Source.
  • 18th October 2021 – There are rumours of a planned travel bubble between Malaysia’s Langkawi island and Koh Lipe in Thailand. Source.
  • 10th October 2021 – Malaysia has lifted international travel restrictions for fully vaccinated residents. Source.
  • 3rd October 2021 – Malaysia hopes to reopen its borders for international travel in December, when it predicts 90% of the population will be vaccinated against COVID-19. Source.
  • 10th September 2021 – Malaysia’s new PM, Ismail Sabri Yaakob calls for travel bubble between ASEAN countries and China. Source.
  • 2nd September 2021 – Langkawi to re-open for domestic tourists on September 16th. Further destinations to re-open once 80% vaccination is reached nationwide. Source.
  • 8th August 2021 – Malaysia approves home quarantine for vaccinated travellers. This applies to residents and non-residents who own a home or second home in Malaysia. Source.
  • 8th August 2021 – Malaysia eases restrictions for some fully vaccinated citizens allowing them to cross state borders and dine in restaurants. Spouses are now allowed to travel across state to see each other and parents are allowed to travel to see children younger that 18 years old. Source.
  • 8th August 2021 – Malaysia eases COVID-19 restrictions in 8 states for fully innoculated. Source.

Malaysia Travel Restrictions

Disclaimer: COVID-19 travel restrictions are changing daily. The following information reflects South East Asia Backpacker’s current understanding of the rules. We work hard to update this information as often and accurately as possible. However, we cannot be held responsible for any errors or omissions. We strongly advise you to contact the embassy of the country you are visiting for the latest information.

Can you travel to Malaysia right now? SUMMARY:

Entry into Malaysia for all foreign nationals is currently not allowed. There may be exceptions to this rule, for essential travel only, and for those with residency permits/family in Malaysia. The states of Sabah and Sarawak have their own restrictions, and you are only allowed to enter if you have permanent residency or an employment pass. Anyone wishing to enter Malaysia must seek permission from the Malaysian Embassy before travelling. Applications will be assessed on a case-by-case basis. 

Before you enter Malaysia, you will need to:

Anyone who has special reasons to enter Malaysia right now must complete an application on the MYTravel Pass online platform. All travellers entering Malaysia must download the MySejahtera app. (This is a track and trace app designed by the government to monitor and limit the spread of COVID-19 across the country.)

Quarantine Period: 

If you meet the special requirements of entry, upon arrival in Malaysia you are required to quarantine for 10-14 days at a designated government facility at your own cost.* (List of countries and their varying quarantine periods can be found on the Ministry of Health website.)

*Since 8th August 2021 – All residents and non-residents of Malaysia are now allowed to complete their mandatory quarantine at home if they have been fully vaccinated. This includes those who have permanent residents in Malaysia and Malaysia My Second Home (MM2H). They will be given the digital Home Surveillance Order (HSO) to monitor their quarantine at home. Source.

Face Masks: 

You must wear a face mask in all public places, including in airports and on public transport (taxis also).

See here for recommendations on the best face masks for travel.

COVID-19 Tests Required: 

You must take a COVID-19 test in your country of residence and have a negative test result within 72 hours of getting on the plane to Malaysia. You must also take a test on arrival and at the end of your quarantine period. 

Internal Travel Restrictions in Malaysia: 

National lockdown extended until further notice meaning that only essential businesses can operate. The MCO (movement control order) is also extended. Source. (Now easing for vaccinated travellers – Source.)

A national lockdown and MCO (movement control order) were declared by the Malaysian government on May 10th 2021 prohibiting all travel across Malaysia. Travel between states was prohibited and roadblocks were put in place at state boundaries. Source.

Once you are in Malaysia it is best to check government websites and newspapers for the latest information on restrictions and curfews as it is changing all the time. See the Royal Malaysian Police Department website for more information.


A curfew of 6am-12am is in place for all businesses, which includes restaurants, shops and bars. If you breach the curfew you can be fined.

Land Borders: 

Land borders into Thailand and Singapore (Peninsular Malaysia) and Indonesia (on the island of Borneo) are closed.


You are allowed to transit in Malaysia via KLIA (Kuala Lumpur International Airport), but you must not pass through immigration checkpoints or leave the airport. You cannot move between terminals 1 and 2 of KLIA without specific permission.

Hotels and guesthouses: 

Hotels and guesthouses are open across Malaysia, though operating with fewer staff. It is likely that you will have your temperature checked upon arrival at any accommodation.

Public spaces:

All educational institutions are now closed and all social gatherings are banned due to the new national lockdown. Restaurants can operate from 6-10pm. (Extended from 6-8pm.)

Mask-wearing and social distancing are compulsory in all public spaces, indoors and outdoors. Your temperature will be checked before you enter many indoor venues.

On The Ground Traveller Reports:

I’m in Kuala Lumpur, which is back in lockdown. I’m living in the city centre right now but it doesn’t look like a lockdown. – Ashley, 14th May 2021

I’m in Sabah. The whole of Malaysia is back in strict lockdown until 7th June. In Sabah, Borneo the rules are not as strict but there is still a travel ban between districts. – Novi, 15th May 2021


Dave Noakes Bio Pic, with Nikki Scott
Nikki Scott | Founder & Editor

Nikki is the founding editor of South East Asia Backpacker. At age 23, she left the UK on a solo backpacking trip and never returned. After six months on the road, she founded a print magazine about backpacking in Asia. The rest is history.

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