For 2 years, we've not been able to travel back to Malaysia. Taking the opportunity when Covid is relatively better in Japan and Malaysia, not to mention relaxation of Covid measures in Malaysia, I decided to make a trip back home. Lots of mishaps happened including flight cancellations and figuring out the Covid policies!
Flight Got Cancelled! 😱
Originally, my trip was supposed to be for 2 weeks from 3th~18th April. I was also very excited to fly Cathay for the first time.
However! Early March, less than a month before I was supposed to return home, I double-checked to see whether my flight schedule was up and running as planned. (You never know during these uncertain times.)
And, turns out, my flight for Kuala Lumpur on 7th April was not listed on the flight schedule. Actually, there were only 2 or so flights heading to Malaysia from Hong Kong (transit in HK). Anxious, I contacted Cathay's customer support and was informed that there was a high chance my flight would be cancelled due to the Hong Kong government stopping flights due to the out of control Covid cases. If the flight was cancelled, I could get a full refund but until then my options were to either reschedule my flight to another date or book with another airline.
I went with Singapore Airlines. The best dates were from 18th April ~ 10th May, a week longer than previously planned but it coincided with Golden Week which means I didn't really have to take much extra leave. It was also around 25,000yen more expensive which was painful 💸
A week or so after booking my new flight, the Cathay flight got cancelled and automatically rescheduled - my new flight date was after my transit date lel. I requested for a refund as I wasn't too sure about how things in Hong Kong would go. I didn't want my next rescheduled flight to get cancelled too 😢
Getting Ready to Go Back, PCR and whatnot
As of time of writing this, the new policies had been implemented. From 1 May 2022, pre-departure PCR test and RTK-Antigen test by professionals were no longer required. However, when I flew, I still had to abide by the 1 April 2022 onwards measures that included:
- Pre-departure PCR Test - within 48 hours of departure
- RTK Antigen Test by professionals - within 24 hours of arrival
Thankfully, quarantine was no longer required as long as the RTK test is negative.
Pre-departure Check List
There were a few very important things to do in preparation to fly home to Malaysia:
- Register MySejahtera
- Register Overseas Vaccination on MySejahtera - Digital Certificate for Covid-19 Vaccination (recommended to do 1-2 weeks in advance)
- Submit Pre-Departure Form on MySejahtera
- Pre-Departure PCR Test
- Submit Pre-Departure PCR Negative Test Results on MySejahtera
Free PCR Test for Tokyo Residents
PCR Test is quite expensive in Japan, especially if you need it to be in English as it'll incur a surcharge. The price range is very wide from 7,000yen~20,000yen, so you'll really need to look around for a cheap and affordable one. Saliva tests are generally cheaper but it depends on whether your destination accepts it.
The cheapest place offering PCR (saliva) test we could find is by Kinoshita Group for 1,900~yen. Their test result is also default bilingual (Japanese/English) which means no surcharge. Just make sure to double check with your destination what information they require on your negative result certificate. I checked with Singapore Airlines and also MOH Covid Hotline just in case.
One of the biggest issues I had with the PCR test is that it needed to be within 48 hours. Almost everywhere I could find in Tokyo could only provide the results within the next day, no guarantees to make it in time for departure. Immediate results places were of course ridiculously expensive. This is where Kinoshita Group saved me again.
Kinoshita Group's PCR Centre at Haneda Airport guarantees your test results by 6pm if you take the test by 3pm on the same day. But yes, you'll need to make the trip all the way to Haneda Airport which is what I did the day before my flight. For Tokyo residents, you'll be glad to know that until 31st August 2022 (last checked) you can do your PCR test for free at certain places, including Kinoshita Group! So yes, I only had to pay the travel expense to and from Haneda Airport! Yay!
I made an appointment for the test at 1pm. Got it done in less than 20 minutes and received the results around 5pm the same day.
Lunch at Haneda Airport
Since it was lunch time, I decided to eat at Haneda Airport. Found a hidden gem of a restaurant there, a TKG (tamago kake gohan 卵かけご飯) specialty restaurant.
Uchi no Tamago only has 1 branch in Tokyo, this one that is in Haneda Airport 😭. Their eggs are sourced from an egg farm in Kyushu. You can buy their eggs at the restaurant too though they are quite expensive - tastes dem good though.
I'll definitely eat here whenever I'm at Haneda Airport 😭 Will get the TKG set next time.
After that, all that was left to do was fly home! I had to show my MySejahtera details and PCR Test Negative Result at check-in (Narita Airport) only. On Malaysia side, I didn't have to show anything, just breezed right through immigration.
Until next time~🐙
I miss Malaysia already...😢