KUALA LUMPUR: The United Kingdom has revised its travel advice to eastern Sabah as a significant move to reflect the state's improved security situation.
British High Commissioner to Malaysia Ailsa Terry said the announcement, following a thorough review process, represented the first major change to the UK's travel advice for Sabah since 2013.
"As a result of the review, the UK government has lifted its advisory against travel to islands and dive sites in the maritime area around Kudat.
"Advice against all but essential travel to islands and dive sites from Sandakan to Tawau, including Lankayan Island, remains in place.
The decision to maintain this advisory, she said, underscored a cautious approach while acknowledging specific security considerations in that particular stretch.
She expressed her satisfaction with the outcome of the travel advice review.
"This travel advice review has been a priority since I arrived in August this year. It is a testament to the work of the Government of Malaysia in improving security in eastern Sabah in recent years.
"I am very pleased that, with the end of travel restrictions related to the Covid-19 pandemic, the thousands of British nationals who call Malaysia home or visit every year will be able to see more of this amazing country."
The UK Foreign, Commonwealth, and Development Office (FCDO) issues travel advice based on objective information to assist British Nationals in making informed decisions about foreign travel.
These changes, like all FCDO travel advisories, are rooted in ongoing security assessments that are subject to constant review.
In 2022, Malaysia welcomed an estimated 130,000 British visitors, and these updated travel advisories were anticipated to encourage more British nationals to explore the diverse attractions of the country with confidence, the statement said.