SOPs on travel bubbles to be ready latest next week, says tourism minister

Datuk Seri Nancy Shukri speaks to reporters during a press conference at the Putra World Trade Centre, Kuala Lumpur August 26, 2020. — Picture by Choo Choy May

KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 26 — The Tourism, Arts and Culture Ministry (Motac) will be finalising its standard operating procedures (SOPs) on its proposed travel bubbles with selected nations by next week, its minister Datuk Seri Nancy Shukri said.

Nancy said her ministry has also been engaging ambassadors of foreign nations here, to discuss the concepts of a reciprocal green lane and periodic commuting arrangements, pointing to Singapore as an example of the latter concept.

“And now, Motac has been tasked by the government, by all the other ministries, to put forward our proposal with our SOPs. It should be ready latest maybe next week, for us to propose to the National Security Council. That is the status for the moment,” she told reporters here after attending her ministry’s event in Putra World Trade Centre (PWTC) here.

In July, Bernama reported Nancy as saying that Motac was considering implementing travel bubbles with green status regions in an effort to spur economic growth in the wake of the Covid-19 outbreak.

She said Motac was looking at certain green zones instead of waiting for a country to be declared totally free of Covid-19.

Nancy added that the idea of having travel bubbles with green status regions was based on the potential of the market to contribute to overall economic growth.

“We have been working on it for the past one or two months.

“First, we had identified some countries, but suddenly some of the countries we identified, some of them had their second wave.

“So looking at that, we cannot just rely on the country. We have to look at destinations. That is the second kind of identification that we have been looking into, the characteristics of what we have been looking into for travel bubbles,” she added.