(Photo credit: Reuters)
From 20 December 2021, vaccinated Malaysians and Singaporeans will be permitted to pay their relatives across the border a visit under the expanded Vaccinated Travel Lane (VTL) scheme. Here's what you need to know before booking your bus tickets across the Causeway.
Singapore and Malaysia can almost be defined as sibling nations and it is no surprise that many residents in either county have friends and family across the border. Travel to Singapore was already possible under the Vaccinated Travel Lane (VTL) scheme implemented on 29 November 2021 by the Malaysian government together with their Singaporean counterparts.
However, it came with the restriction denoting that travellers had to be citizens, permanent residents (PR) or long-term pass holders of the country they were entering.
The intent was to reunite families that were separated when loved ones got stuck in the neighbouring country when the land border first closed.
Under the new protocol, fully vaccinated Singaporeans and Malaysians will be allowed to travel between both countries.
Who are Allowed to Cross the Border?
Similar to previous restrictions, you will have to be vaccinated and have had your second dosage at least two weeks before your date of travel.
You will also have to be a citizen, PR, or long-term pass holder of either country. However, unlike the former Land-VTL rules, it does not matter which country you belong to. Malaysians can travel to Singapore and vice versa.
How Do I Cross the Border?
(Photo Credit: Malay Mail)
Unfortunately, we will not be able to populate Singapore roads with Malaysia MyVis for now. Personal vehicles are still not allowed to cross the causeway.
You will need to book a seat on buses run by either Transtar Travel (Singapore) or Causeway Link (Malaysia). If you're travelling from Malaysia, both sets of buses will arrive and depart from Larkin Sentral while the pick-up and drop off points in Singapore would be Woodlands Temporary Bus Interchange and Queen's Street respectively
What are the Testing Requirements in Place?
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Similar to previous Land-VTL regulations, you will need to go through either a professionally administered Antigen Rapid Test (ART) or Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) test at least two days before you travel.
Upon reaching your destination, you will also need to take another ART under supervision. Additionally, you will also be required to comply with the exisiting safety measures and protocols of the country you visit.
If you are travelling into Singapore will be required to follow a seven-day Covid-19 ART regime which entails daily self-administered ARTs. You will need to proceed to a testing centre on the third and seventh days for the tests. Do note that you will bear the costs of these tests.
While it is an exciting development for the two nations, always remember to take precautions if you do intend to travel, especially with the recent threat of the Omicron strain.