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Malaysians 'excited' as Langkawi opens tourism bubble

"I feel very, very excited and super, super happy," said Beverly Tiew, 46, who was among the first batch of 159 travellers to arrive from Kuala Lumpur, following months of lockdowns imposed nationwide to curb a surge in coronavirus cases.

Earlier this month, the Malaysian government announced Langkawi would be the first tourist site to reopen as part of a domestic tourism bubble, with strict protocols in place to thwart the spread of the coronavirus.

The plan is similar to that introduced in Thailand, which started with the July reopening of Phuket, 220 km (137 miles) north of Langkawi, to vaccinated foreign tourists. Malaysia has yet to invite foreign tourists to return.