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LANGKAWI, Sept 15 -- The decision to make it compulsory for travellers intending to visit Langkawi, Kedah, from tomorrow to undergo screening for COVID-19 before departure is a positive move despite its late announcement causing some confusion.
Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Nancy Shukri said the decision was made due to the government’s concern with the risk of a spike in COVID-19 cases in Langkawi when the tourism bubble pioneer project takes off tomorrow.
“Previously, I had said that there would be no swab tests, suddenly today the Health Ministry announces that there will be swab tests… but the Health Ministry and National Security Council (MKN) are worried that there may be a surge in cases.
“This is a positive concern that we at MOTAC (Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture) also have. Since this is a good intention, we welcome it and we support (it),” she told a media conference after attending the launching ceremony of Langkawi’s reopening as a pioneer domestic tourism destination here tonight.
The ceremony was officially launched by Kedah Menteri Besar Muhammad Sanusi Md Nor.
She said that although the announcement was deemed to have been made a bit late and confusing to the public, there is no doubt that it was made to ensure the safety of the people and the success of the Langkawi tourism bubble concept.
Previously, Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin said in a statement that travellers intending to visit Langkawi from tomorrow would be required to undergo screening for COVID-19 before departure.
Khairy said the screening test should be conducted on adults aged 18 and above as well as children and teenagers aged seven to 17 years.
Meanwhile, Nancy said the Langkawi tourism bubble pioneer project would be the yardstick to determine the reopening of many other local tourism destinations after this.
“If this is successful then, Insyallah, the other tourism bubble projects will be easier for us. The others are waiting for the result in Langkawi. The other destinations are waiting to reopen,” she said.
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