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Malaysia relaxes travel restrictions ahead of ICANN 75

Kevin Murphy, August 9, 2022, Domain Policy

Malaysia has made it easier for foreign travelers to enter the country, which should take some of the headaches out of going to ICANN 75 next month.

According to local reports, the Malaysian government web site, and official UK travel advice, those entering Malaysia are no longer required to fill out a “travelers card” on the government’s contact-tracing app, MySejahtera.

It’s not clear whether MySejahtera is still mandatory for entry. The UK says you “may” be required to install it,

On-arrival tests have been scrapped, regardless of vaccination status, the Malaysian government said:

From 1st August 2022, all travellers are allowed to enter Malaysia regardless of their COVID-19 vaccination status and do not require a pre-departure or on-arrival COVID-19 test. There are no quarantine orders related to COVID-19 enforced by the Malaysian Government upon arrival.

If you test positive for Covid-19 while in Malaysia, you’re still required by law to quarantine for four days (if you subsequently test negative) to seven days (regardless of the test result) at your own expense.

While the government rules may take some of the red tape out of entering the country, ICANN’s still has rules about entering the meeting venue.

To obtain entry to the Kuala Lumpur Convention Center, you’ll need to have proof of vaccination under the current version of ICANN’s health guidelines, which were last updated July 20.

Thanks to Richard Wein for the tip.

More rules, but cozier ICANN 75 expected

Kevin Murphy, August 8, 2022, Domain Policy

There will be more rules to follow at ICANN 75 next month, but attendees might be able to expect a more intimate event, with less stringent seating restrictions.

The gathering, ICANN’s 2022 Annual General Meeting, will be held in Kuala Lumpur from September 17 to 22, the second pandemic-era meeting to have a face-to-face component, but in-person attendees need to register by September 14.

The new rules are largely a result of local laws, according to ICANN.

The first thing to note is that if you don’t have a smart-phone, you’re out of luck. Malaysia requires people entering the country to install a government Covid-control track-and-trace app called MySejahtera.

The law also says you have to wear masking indoors and self-isolate for four to seven days if you test positive. ICANN’s mandatory legal waiver makes the attendee responsible for associated costs.

But at the venue itself, ICANN is relaxing its session rules, saying it may halve the social-distancing requirement in half to a meter, which will allow more people into each room and could reduce the need for waiting lists and overflow rooms.

Many of the sessions at ICANN 74 in June were over-booked.

ICANN backtracks on legal waiver for ICANN 75

Kevin Murphy, July 13, 2022, Domain Policy

ICANN has softened the language in the legal waiver it requires all of its public meeting attendees to agree to.

The waiver for ICANN 75, due to take place in Kuala Lumpur in September, no longer requires you to absolve ICANN from blame if you get sick due to the Org’s own gross negligence.

For last month’s ICANN 74 in The Hague, the waiver stated:

I knowingly and freely assume all risks related to illness and infectious diseases, including but not limited to COVID-19, even if arising from the negligence or fault of ICANN.

The Kuala Lumpur waiver states:

I knowingly and freely assume all risks related to illness and infectious diseases, including but not limited to COVID-19.

So if an infected ICANN staffer spits in the coffee, this time you could probably sue.

The 74 waiver caused a fair few complaints when it first emerged. It was accused of being “excessive” by the CEOs of Blacknight and the Namibian ccTLD registry in a Request for Reconsideration that was eventually dismissed by the ICANN board of directors.

It also caused the At-Large Advisory Committee to issue a withering takedown accusing ICANN of insensitivity and intimidation, which ICANN’s chair brushed off (pdf) a couple weeks ago.

There are other language changes in the new waiver, but none seem to be as significant as ICANN making itself legally bullet-proof.

Kuala Lumpur will have substantially the same Covid-19 precautions as The Hague, which includes mandatory mask-wearing indoors, testing, and social distancing, ICANN has confirmed.