Singapore-Malaysia Border Reopening On 1 Apr Sees Throngs Of People Cross Causeway
After more than 2 years of travel restrictions, people on both sides of the Causeway were delighted when land border measures were eased on 1 Apr. Within hours of the border reopening, thousands reportedly streamed across the iconic Causeway crossing.
Despite the jam that occurred near midnight, there was a sense of joy and exuberance in the air, as travellers sang and cheered while making their way across — a stark contrast to the ‘mad rush‘ in 2020.
Roughly 11,000 travellers crossed borders in first 7 hours of reopening
As midnight approached on Thursday (31 Mar), epic photos of motorists and pedestrians awaiting the reopening of borders began circulating on social media.
One photo by Lianhe Zaobao showed a group of motorcyclists waving their hands in apparent excitement.
Meanwhile, some others made their way across on foot.
Despite the humidity, nothing could stop the countless Malaysians who’ve spent the better part of 2 years away from their families.
Eager to make their way across, some were even seen running on the Causeway.
Many also cheered and celebrated as they headed for their destinations.
According to the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA), more than 11,000 travellers made their way across the Woodlands and Tuas checkpoints within the first seven hours of reopening.
Crossing was smooth for most travellers
The Straits Times (ST) reported that the trip across was smooth for many pedestrians and motorcyclists. Some were, however, turned away at Woodlands Checkpoint as they did not have the necessary documents.
Though the crossing appeared crowded near midnight, things reportedly slowed down considerably after 3am.
This is the first time in more than 2 years that people could travel between both countries without the need for quarantine or testing.
Borders were closed on 17 Mar 2020 as Malaysia imposed a lockdown to curb Covid-19 infections.
Though a vaccinated travel lane (VTL) between both countries opened in Nov 2021, travellers still had to undergo testing prior to departure.
However, on 24 Mar, both countries announced the resumption of quarantine- and testing-free land travel from 1 Apr.
Heartening to see the Causeway come back to life
The scenes at the Causeway are perhaps an indication of how badly people have missed regular access between both countries.
As Covid-19 becomes endemic in both Singapore and Malaysia, we hope travelling between both countries will gradually return to what it was like before the pandemic.
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