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Thailand, Malaysia Planning Koh Lipe-Langkawi ‘Travel Bubble’

High-speed ferries link Malaysia's Langkawi and Thailand's Koh Lipe.
High-speed ferries link Malaysia's Langkawi and Thailand's Koh Lipe.

Thailand and Malaysia are working on a plan to open a island “travel bubble” involving Langkawi and Lipe islands in the Andaman Sea.

There would not be quarantine requirements for ferry passengers traveling between the two places.

During his visit to the southern region, Minister of Tourism and Sports Pipat Ratchakitprakarn has expressed confidence that Thailand’s southern provinces bordering Malaysia will be able to accept international tourists from December.

The reopening of southern border provinces is scheduled for the second phase of Thailand’s country reopening plan, with certain tourism areas to reopen as soon as 1 November.

The ministry is now working with the Malaysian State of Kedah to consider opening a travel bubble between Langkawi island in Malaysia, and Ko Lipe in Thailand.

The two Andaman Sea islands are normally connected with a cross-border ferry service. Under the proposed travel bubble arrangement, travelers between these islands would no longer need to serve quarantine if they meet certain criteria, such as passing Covid-19 tests before departure and after arrival, having received a vaccine, and consenting to online tracking.

The minister said New Year’s Eve countdown events will be held in Phuket, Phang Nga, Krabi, and Hat Yai district of Songkhla, provided that at least 70 percent of the local populations are vaccinated.