Those with families across the Causeway have been deprived of convenient road trips back for a long time. But it might soon be a possibility again, just in time for families to reunite for the upcoming Hari Raya festivities.
On Tuesday (8 Mar), Malaysia Prime Minister (PM) Ismail Sabri Yaakob announced that they will reopen international borders to visitors from 1 Apr.
Earlier on 7 Mar, Malaysian authorities said this will include the Johor Causeway and Second Link.
This comes as the country plans to revive its tourism sector which had been heavily hit by the pandemic.
On Tuesday (8 Mar), PM Ismail Sabri Yaakob said Malaysia will reopen borders to international visitors from 1 Apr.
According to The Straits Times (ST), fully vaccinated visitors need not quarantine.
But they would have to undergo pre-departure and upon-arrival tests within 24 hours of landing.
Just a day earlier, Malaysia’s Tourism and Culture Minister Nancy Shukri said the border reopening includes the Johor Causeway and the Second Link, reported Channel NewsAsia (CNA).
This move is in hopes of reviving the country’s tourism sector which has been badly affected by the pandemic.
She added that the Tourism, Arts and Culture Ministry is ready and “always prepared” to receive tourists from abroad, quoted Malay Mail.
PM Ismail Sabri first announced the upcoming border reopening on Saturday (5 Mar).
Back then, he shared his hopes that it would allow families who have not seen each other for long periods to reunite.
He mentioned that it will be in time for them to celebrate Hari Raya Aidilfitri in May.
Besides that, Malaysia is also implementing a Vaccinated Travel Lane (VTL) by land with Thailand and Brunei, reports Bernama.
The Singapore-Malaysia land VTL was launched back on 29 Nov 2021.
S’pore-M’sia Land VTL Opens On 29 Nov, Travellers Must Take Designated Buses
This was in tandem with the opening of the air VTL between Changi Airport and Kuala Lumpur International Airport.
For now, the land VTL is available for long-term pass holders working in Singapore and JB.
For many with families across the border, it may be well over 2 years of separation.
Now that Malaysia is gradually opening its international checkpoints, families may now look forward to a long-awaited reunion with their loved ones.
Hopefully, we will soon see the Causeway back to its old bustling self as day trips to Malaysia become a possibility again.
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Featured image adapted from Cheng Kiang Ng on Flickr.
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