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Many of us forgo travel plans and family trips due to the Covid-19 pandemic. But the situation looks to be improving in Malaysia – we have now entered the Recovery Movement Control phase and Malaysians can now travel to another state*. As we continue our fight against Covid-19 and wait for more guideline on vacation and travelling, here are some travel precautions and actions you can take should you want to rearrange your travel plans. 

Support our domestic economy and travel locally instead

Good news! Our efforts to #StayAtHome have paid off and the Malaysian Government announced in June that it has loosen domestic travel restrictions to encourage domestic spending and to boost our local economy. Travelling locally is a safer, not to mention cheaper, option at a time when the economy is down. You’ll be doing your part to stimulate the local economy for a faster recovery. You can also take advantage of the RM1,000 travel tax relief for local travel expenses** – it’s valid for the rest of the year.
 
But of course, social distancing and other safety precautions still prevail, so always keep clean and stay safe when you’re travelling. 

Take advantage of free cancellation or rebooking

While domestic travel is now allowed, the country’s border is still closed for international travels. To make it easier for travellers, most commercial airlines are allowing passengers to change their travel dates free of charge, or to cancel their booked flight for a credit or cash refund. Malaysia Airlines’ ‘Ultimate Flexibility Ticket Change Policy’ offers unlimited date changes for free. The airline also allows a change of destination. If you’re thinking of taking a wait-and-see approach, don’t wait too long! Rebooking must be made on or before 30 June 2020.

 

AirAsia, on the other hand, is offering to credit the entire value of your ticket into your AirAsia account, which can be used to book a new flight within one year of the conversion. You may also change your travel date for free (but only for travel before 31 October 2020). Of course, whichever airline you have travel plans with, terms and conditions do apply, so check the fine print.

Ensure your insurance covers health-related travel coverage

It’s not typically something you consider when making travel or insurance plans, but as we’ve seen with the coronavirus, coverage for pandemic-related health protection could be something to consider when getting travel insurance. Although few insurance providers offer specific coverage over epidemics and pandemics, hospitalisation coverage would provide protection if you were hospitalised for an infectious disease.

 

Depending on the chosen coverage, you may be able to claim pre-, during, and post-hospitalisation costs, as well as death benefits due to certain causes of death such as lung failure. The details are subjected to the policy, so consult your trusted insurance provider on the terms of your policy, and if you feel it’s insufficient, consider buying more coverage.

 

The travel industry has been one of the hardest hit by the outbreak. Let’s support local and travel as safely as we can. 

 

 

This article is brought to you by CIMB as part of our ongoing efforts to raise the level of financial literacy among Malaysians. Financial knowledge and understanding are key to making well-informed and meaningful financial decisions that will improve all our well-being. This, in turn, achieves CIMB’s purpose of advancing customers and society.

 

Source:

 

* https://www.nst.com.my/news/nation/2020/06/598714/rmco-interstate-travel-allowed-overseas-travel-not-yet

 

**https://www.malaymail.com/news/malaysia/2020/02/27/2020-stimulus-malaysians-to-get-rm1000-tax-relief-rm100-digital-vouchers-fo/1841537