Update: The closure of Sipadan Island has been changed to November 1 to 30, 2020. It will resume operations on December 1, 2020 and will be open throughout December 2020.
Malaysia’s popular scuba diving spot of Sipadan will be closed to visitors every December, beginning 2020, according to a New Straits Times report.
The annual month-long closure was requested by dive operators to allow the island’s marine environment and ecology to recover, said the report, adding that December was picked as it is one of the quietest months.
The announcement was made by deputy chief minister and tourism, culture and environment minister Datuk Christina Liew.
Currently, there are restrictions placed on the number of visitors to Sipadan – a maximum of 156 divers are allowed per day while only up to 20 snorkelers a day are permitted on special permits.