India and Malaysia are set to reopen their international borders, allowing foreign visitors from any country to enter. 

The decisions by the two countries — announced on 8 March — comes about two years after global borders slammed shut amid the spread of the coronavirus from Wuhan, China. 

IndiGo Airlines at Mumbai Airport 2020

Source: Shutterstock

India’s Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) says it will allow the resumption of all international commercial flights to and from India from 27 March. 

Correspondingly, existing air travel bubble arrangements with partner countries including the UK, Singapore, as well as Australia will cease on the same day. 

The DGCA says the decision was made “[after] having recognised the increased vaccination coverage across the globe and in consultation with the stakeholders”. 

India mulled a full border reopening in late-2021, but the more infectious Omicron variant of the coronavirus put plans on hold. 

Separately, Malaysia will fully reopen borders to fully-vaccinated travellers from 1 April, as part of a broader move towards living with an endemic Covid-19. 

Prime minister Ismail Sabri says foreign visitors no longer need to apply for a travel pass to enter the country, and Malaysians can travel to other countries with similar open border arrangements. 

However, pre-departure and post-arrival testing requirements will remain: travellers need to have taken a polymerase chain reaction test two days before departure, as well as an antigen rapid test within 24 hours of arriving in the country. 

India and Malaysia join a growing list of Asia-Pacific countries that have fully swung open borders in recent months, as the Omicron wave begins to subside. 

Australia in late-February opened up its borders to all international travellers, after effectively closing it for nearly two years. 

In early February, Philippines allowed fully-vaccinated travellers to enter the country without quarantine. 

Singapore, meanwhile, expanded its quarantine-free Vaccinated Travel Lane scheme to more countries, including to Greece and Vietnam.