As the government relaxes travel restrictions across Malaysia, there are still several important things to take note of if you're planning to fly to Sabah and Sarawak
1. You must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19
Those who are not vaccinated against the coronavirus disease will not be allowed to board flights to Sabah and Sarawak.
Previously, Bukit Aman Internal Security and Public Order Department director CP Datuk Hazani Ghazali warned that unvaccinated folks who are found travelling interstate may be compounded by the police.
2. You must complete an e-Health Declaration Form to enter Sarawak
3. Foreigners and Malaysians who are not citizens of Sarawak are required to apply for entry via the EnterSarawak portal
EnterSarawak is a platform created by the state's disaster management committee and it is meant to facilitate contact tracing should there be positive cases among visitors to the state.
While this applies to foreigners and Malaysians living outside of Sarawak, there are a few groups of people who are exempted from this requirement, including federal officers serving in Sarawak, private sector employees, and family members of Sarawak citizens, and Sarawak visa holders.
However, they must present documentation as proof before boarding a flight.
4. You will most likely need to test negative before entering either of the states
All guests flying into Sabah, including Sabah citizens, are required to present a negative COVID-19 polymerase chain reaction (PCR) or rapid antigen (RTK-Antigen) test result that is valid for three days prior to departure.
For those flying into Sarawak, this requirement only applies to those flying in from overseas. Only a PCR test is accepted and it must also be done three days prior to arrival in Malaysia. Upon arrival, international travellers must undergo a quarantine.
5. Those between the ages of 12 and 18 who are travelling to Sabah must have been partially vaccinated
Being partially vaccinated means that they must have received at least one dose of the two-dose COVID-19 vaccine.
On the other hand, children under the age of 12 need to be accompanied by fully vaccinated parents or guardians.
6. Some foreigners are allowed conditional entry to Sabah while others must file an application to the Chief Minister's Department
Those allowed conditional entry are spouses or dependents of Sabahans, permanent residents of Sabah, essential service workers and their dependents, visiting investors under invitation by the state government, temporary pass holders, Sabah visa holders, and higher learning institute students.
There are also foreigners who are allowed to enter Sabah for social visits without requiring special entry approval. However, they must have a valid immigration pass or passport to enter the state. This includes diplomats and expatriates currently residing in Peninsular Malaysia, Sarawak, and Labuan.
Other non-Malaysians who are still not permitted to enter must file an application to the Chief Minister's Department to be considered for special approval.
To get a list of sub-categories allowed to apply for entry into Sabah, visit the Office of Internal Affairs and Research online portal here.
7. Travellers must arrive at the airport three hours prior to departure
AirAsia notes in their travel advisory, "With the relaxation and removal of various entry requirements by Sabah and Sarawak, the safety screening and boarding process at the airport is now much faster and AirAsia is pleased to advise guests to arrive at the airport three hours prior to departure."
If you're wondering whether those living in Peninsular Malaysia need to carry their passport or not when visiting Sabah and Sarawak, here's the answer: