Kuala Lumpur: hoping for the pandemic to subside soon. Credit: Getty images
KUALA LUMPUR -The Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture (MOTAC) has cancelled its Visit Malaysia Campaign 2020 (VM2020). This will include a freeze on all over-the-counter and online services for new application, license renewal of travel operating business and travel, tourist guide, tourism training institute and registration of rated tourist accommodation premises as well as spa and foot massage centre.
The cancellation of Visit Malaysia 2020 (VM2020) is effective until 31 March 2020.
Tourism licensing may be done online but limited to submission of applications. The subsequent process of documentation will only be effective on 1 April 2020.
At press time, all tourist accommodation premises are still allowed to operate at minimum level. Their services are to be rendered to guests who have already checked-in into the hotels before 18 March 2020, whilst F&B is restricted to room service only. On that note, the guests are to remain in their rooms throughout the quarantine period.
Ms Dato' Sri Hajah Nancy Shukri, minister, Tourism, Arts and Culture, said: "Check-ins at the tourist accommodation premises during the Movement Control Order are allowed but on a limited scale. For guests who have to extend their stay due to the implementation of MCO, they may book and/or check-in with the tourist accommodation premises according to their budget. However, new check-ins for domestic tourists are not allowed.
"On this note, I urge the public to abide by the rule of social distancing during the implementation of the MCO and to get verified information from official sources. Together, let us do our part to flatten the curve and pray for the safety of our beloved country and people."
A large Muslim gathering held at the end of last month at a huge mosque near Kuala Lumpur has become the source of hundreds of new COVID-19 infections spreading across Southeast Asia. It drew 16,000 worshippers, including 1,500 foreigners. Out of Malaysia's 673 confirmed COVID-19 cases, about two-thirds are linked to this four-day event.
Malaysia Convention & Exhibition Bureau (MyCEB) spokesperson, Ms Farah Annesa said: "The bureau will continuously adhere to Government of Malaysia through Ministry of Health Malaysia's guidelines and procedures following COVID-19.
"In the interim, the bureau would encourage the industry partners to refer on the stimulus package offered by the Government in order to assist them in such situation.
"We at MyCEB hope that the COVID-19 situation will subside soon, and in the meantime, I would like to urge all industry players to adhere to Ministry of Health Malaysia's guidelines and procedures and we look forward to becoming the travel destination of choice when travel frequencies are restored."
At press time, Malaysia had the fourth highest number of COVID-19 cases in Asia behind China, South Korea and Japan.
This was from the latest jump in the number of new cases in the country, with 110 new cases reported on Thursday (March 19) bringing the total number of confirmed cases to 900 according to an online dashboard created by the Johns Hopkins Center for Systems Science and Engineering. See link for the latest number here.
For advisory and updates on COVID-19 in Malaysia, click here.
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