Malaysia lifts travel restrictions for fully vaccinated people

A tourist scans a QR code to check in upon arriving at the airport as Langkawi reopens to domestic tourists, amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic in Malaysia September 16, 2021. REUTERS/Lim Huey Teng

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 10 (Reuters) - Malaysia on Sunday lifted interstate and international travel restrictions for residents fully vaccinated against COVID-19, as the country achieved its target of inoculating 90% of its adult population.

Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob said the government has agreed to allow fully vaccinated Malaysians to travel overseas without applying for permission.

The new rules take effect on Monday.

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The government is preparing to shift into an endemic COVID-19 phase where it will not impose wide lockdowns again if cases rise, Ismail Sabri told a news conference.

"We have to train ourselves to live with COVID, because COVID may not be eliminated fully," he said.

Nearly 65% of the country's 32 million population, including those aged 12 to 17, were fully vaccinated as of Saturday.

The Southeast Asian nation has recorded 2.3 million coronavirus infections and 27,265 deaths from COVID-19.

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Reporting by Mei Mei Chu; Editing by David Goodman and William Mallard

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