KUALA LUMPUR (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - Malaysia is working towards reopening up travel routes with green zone destinations abroad, instead of nations as a whole, its Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister Nancy Shukri told the Parliament on Tuesday (Aug 11).
"We have identified nations which are labelled as green zones.
"However, we need to be realistic with regard to this, as it may not be practical for countries such as Australia and New Zealand," she said in reply to a question by Umno MP Ahmad Maslan.
Nancy cited the recent emergence of a second wave of Covid-19 as an example which may prevent an entire nation to be deemed a green zone.
"We are now looking at destinations, and not the nation as a whole.
"For example, Australia cannot be labelled as a green zone, as there is a second wave of Covid-19 affecting Melbourne.
"Instead, we are now considering Perth as a destination," she said.
Another factor that would prevent Malaysia from opening up to other countries is the lack of reciprocal arrangement.
"If we only identify them as green zones and want to work with them, then they too have to open their borders to us in Malaysia," Nancy said, as quoted by The Malay Mail.
She added that her ministry is working closely with the Health Ministry and Wisma Putra to see if it is possible to reopen such travel routes.