From today, domestic tourism between states under the recovery movement control order (RMCO) will be allowed, senior minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob announced yesterday. However, it won’t be free for all interstate travel like in the previous RMCO period.

The conditions are strict. Travel can only happen between RMCO states via government-registered tour agencies, which must obtain prior approval from the police before the tour. Details on participants, accommodation and activities will be provided by the tour agent to the police when applying for permission. Individuals need not personally apply for travel permission.

Travelling in a personal capacity and in private vehicles is not allowed. Also prohibited is travel from CMCO to RMCO states and vice versa.

“The National Security Council technical meeting after conducting risk assessments with government agencies involved, including recommendations from the Health Ministry, has agreed to allow a domestic tourism travel bubble between RMCO states with the following conditions,” Ismail Sabri said in his daily briefing yesterday.

“The permitted conditions are that such travel must utilise the services offered by tour agencies registered with the Tourism, Arts and Culture Ministry (Motac). Travel between states must only use tour vehicles registered with Motac as well. The use of private vehicles is not allowed,” the minister added.

So, it’s for organised tours only, and not DIY holidays. Tours from an RMCO state to another are not allowed to stop in a CMCO state it is passing by. Currently, states under the RMCO are Melaka, Pahang, Terengganu, Sabah, WP Putrajaya, Labuan and Perlis. All other states, including WP Kuala Lumpur and Selangor, are under the CMCO.

On another note, Ismail Sabri announced that Langkawi’s status will change from CMCO to RMCO effective today, so the island can be a destination in this new domestic travel bubble. The rest of Kedah remains under the CMCO.