Singapore, Malaysia to launch vaccinated travel lane on Nov 29, starting with air travel
SINGAPORE — Singapore and Malaysia will launch a vaccinated travel lane (VTL) between Changi Airport and Kuala Lumpur International Airport from Nov 29, allowing vaccinated travellers from each country to cross the border without the need for quarantine, the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) said on Monday (Nov 8).
SINGAPORE — Singapore and Malaysia will launch a vaccinated travel lane (VTL) between Changi Airport and Kuala Lumpur International Airport from Nov 29, allowing vaccinated travellers from each country to cross the border without the need for quarantine, a joint press statement from the Prime Ministers of Singapore and Malaysia said on Monday (Nov 8).
Under the scheme, fully vaccinated travellers will be able to travel between Singapore and Malaysia, and be subjected to Covid-19 tests in lieu of serving quarantine or a stay-home notice.
Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and Malaysian Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob spoke on the phone on Monday to discuss the matter, their statement said.
Right now, the scheme applies only to air travel between the two airports but the two prime ministers said that they look forward to restoring travel across the land links between both countries in the near future.
“The prime ministers recognised that Covid-19 has disrupted people-to-people connections between the two countries and separated families for many months,” the statement read.
“Given the significant progress that both countries have made in vaccinating their respective populations and managing the Covid-19 pandemic, the prime ministers agreed that it is timely to progressively resume cross-border travel between both countries, in a safe manner.”
At a news conference by the national Covid-19 task force, Minister for Transport S Iswaran said that the travel lane will start with six designated flights between the two countries.
Inbound travellers must present a negative polymerase chain reaction (PCR) swab test or antigen rapid test taken by a trained professional 48 hours before departure, he said. They must then take another PCR test when they land in Singapore.
Applications for the vaccinated travel lane to Malaysia will open on Nov 22 and the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore will provide more details nearer that date, he added.
Returning Singapore citizens and permanent residents who are fully vaccinated will not need to apply.
In a Facebook post, Mr Lee said: “Singapore and Malaysia have made good progress vaccinating our populations and managing the pandemic. So we agreed that it is timely to progressively resume cross-border travel between both countries.”
He added: “We are also discussing reopening travel across the Causeway and the Second Link. We look forward to launching a similar vaccinated travel lane scheme between Singapore and Johor in the near future.”
Before the pandemic, more than 300,000 Malaysians used to cross the Causeway daily, making it once one of the world’s busiest land border crossings.
Singapore has so far established similar quarantine-free arrangements with 13 countries. They are: Australia, Brunei, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, South Korea, Spain, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and the United States.