Heading to Langkawi? Read This First!
So there, Langkawi’s doors are now open for fully vaccinated tourists to enjoy all its beauty and splendor, signalling the government’s intent to fully open the economy and declare Covid-19 as an endemic. So with more tourist attractions to follow suit, is it time to make travel plans just yet? Be it yes or no, we should all remember the wise words of our Health Director General that the economy is being opened not because it’s now safe to do so, but it’s because of people’s livelihoods.
Therefore, the ideal situation would still be to remain in a self-imposed lockdown but if the itch to go on a holiday needs to be scratched for good, let’s keep in mind the current situation in the country and take some precautions before and during our trip, so that we could minimize the risks to ourselves and to others as well:
1. Take your COVID-19 test before your trip!
Of course, otherwise you would be denied entry. COVID-19 testing (RT-PCR or RTK-Antigent) can be done either at a private testing facility (your neighbourhood clinic/hospital/lab) or via a self-test kit for further examination at the airport/ferry terminal before you board. For children 6 years and below, they are only required to test for symptoms and must be accompanied by fully vaccinated adults who have completed their testing within 48 hours of departure. This is a necessary step to ensure that all tourists enter without carrying the coronavirus with them and potentially spreading it to others once they arrive. So, go get tested for peace of mind!
2. Pack extra self-hygiene items
While you pack your bags, spare some thought and baggage space, too, for additional supplies of face masks, hand sanitizers, disinfectants, etc. as a part of the new norms in travel. As we all know, unpredictable things happen in life such as closed shops, lack of supplies in your holiday destination, so if you have supplies of these items instead at hand, you’d never have to scramble for them from a shop, pharmacy, etc. when you really need them. Plus, they typically don’t require much storage space, so do allocate a small compartment for them so that you can travel with peace of mind.
3. Don’t forget your SOPs while you’re there
Having been fully vaccinated and cleared for travel is not a free pass to do whatever you like in the public. The fact that the coronavirus can still infect you and you can pass it on to unvaccinated people, i.e. children and the elderly, means that in any case, you should be extra vigilant when you’re holidaying. Therefore, adhere always to the SOPs, and never forget any one of them. With newer variants emerging, SOP adherence is still necessary to protect our personal hygiene and the safety of those around us.
4. Avoid crowded areas
We know it’s been a really long time since you’ve had a stroll in a beach, had fun in an outdoor theme park or do pretty much anything under the sun with a crowd around you. Do try your best to avoid crowded places, especially if there are children tagging along with you. Always be mindful of their unvaccinated status, so exposing them (and yourself) to a large amount of people could potentially be disastrous as one (or more) of them could be infected and easily spread the virus around, so it’d be best to stay away from crowds for the time being. Alternatively, plan holiday activities that are more private and intimate! This way you get to improve the bonds with your loved ones and minimize risk at the same time.
5. Be responsible travellers
Plenty of images and videos of people congesting a holiday destination have been making their rounds in social media. Worse, many of these images and videos feature a lack of civic-mindedness among the people as rubbish are strewn all over the place! Let’s remember that it’s public property so it’s a collective duty of ours to preserve the cleanliness of the place. Indeed, the litterbug virus has long bugged Malaysians way before Covid-19 emerged, so like Covid-19, let’s all play our part to stamp it out as it can really be an eyesore, and it shines a very bad light on Malaysians as well.
So there, are you personally ready to travel again? Which popular destination will be declared open after Langkawi? Wherever it is, and whenever you are ready to travel again, do remember that there are still many unvaccinated individuals out there whom you could potentially harm if you are lackadaisical with the SOPs while travelling. Together, let’s embrace the endemic stage and do our part to move on with our lives like it used to be, and in the same time be careful for the coronavirus, in whatever variants, is still at large.