There are many reasons why Langkawi is a popular travel destination in Malaysia. Brimming with exciting things to do and stunning beach resorts, it's definitely a great place for beach lovers and island seekers alike. If you've been dreaming of a beach vacation in Langkawi, we have some good news for you!
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On 17 July 2021, the Ministry Of Tourism, Arts & Culture has announced that they're working on launching Langkawi as the first pilot destination for Malaysia's COVID-19 Free Destination Program. Set to kick off in three phases, the first phase will see the reopening of Langkawi to leisure travelers due to its secluded location, international and domestic flight networks, and small population.
P.S. Should Langkawi adopt a Phuket Sandbox model to attract vaccinated travellers?
While the Ministry Of Tourism, Arts & Culture has yet to specify when Langkawi will reopen for leisure travel, Malaysia's National Recovery Plan's projected timeline for herd immunity (inoculating 60% Malaysian residents) is September or October 2021. Compared to other states in Malaysia, Langkawi is performing comparably well due to the island's small population of 111,500 residents.
As of July 2021, only 30% of residents who registered for the vaccine have been fully vaccinated. However, the percentage is set to increase after Science, Technology and Innovation Minister Khairy Jamaluddin reassured that more vaccine supplies will be delivered to Langkawi, following the purchase of 45 million doses of Pfizer vaccine on 15 July 2021. For live updates on COVID-19 cases in Langkawi, refer to Malaysia Kini's COVID-19 News Lab.
It may be awhile before we can plan an island getaway in Malaysia like we used to, but there's a glimmer of hope that leisure travel to Langkawi is possible as long as we band together against the pandemic.