Singapore and Malaysia have always been intricately connected with one another with many having family and friends across the Causeway.
Now, after almost 2 years there’s finally good news — the land Vaccinated Travel Lane (VTL) between the 2 countries will launch on 29 Nov.
Starting from 8am on Thursday (25 Nov), tickets for the designated land VTL buses will go on sale.
As authorities earlier stated, priority will be given to workers in either country who have not been able to visit their families since March 2020.
The long-anticipated news has finally arrived — from Monday (29 Nov), the Singapore-Malaysia land VTL will be launched, reported The Straits Times (ST).
For this 1st phase of the land VTL, all travellers will have to be citizens, permanent residents, or long-term pass holders of the country they are entering.
This is to give priority to those who have been working in either country to visit their families.
Using designated bus services, they will be able to travel across the Causeway without the need for quarantine.
For those eagerly awaiting to return home, tickets will go on sale from Thursday (25 Nov) at 8am.
It will cost $15 for adults and $8 for children to travel to Malaysia. Buses from Malaysia to Singapore will cost RM20 and RM10 for adults and children respectively.
According to Channel NewsAsia (CNA), there will be 32 land VTL designated bus services, each with a maximum capacity of 45, entering each country per day.
This means each day, up to 1,440 Malaysian citizens, permanent residents, and long-term pass holders in Singapore will be able to cross the border and vice versa for Singapore citizens to Malaysia.
2 operators will run the designated bus services — Transtar Travel and Handal Indah (Causeway Link).
Transtar Travel will operate 32 daily trips, 16 each way, between Woodlands Temporary Bus Interchange in Singapore and Larkin Sentral Bus Terminal in Johor Bahru.
Handal Indah will also be operating 32 daily trips between Larkin Sentral Bus Terminal and Singapore’s Queen Street Terminal.
The Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) said that depending on the public health situation in both countries, the land VTL will be progressively expanded.
The expansion could include general travellers from around mid-December.
Authorities are also currently working towards quarantine-free travel through the Tuas Second Link.
PM Lee said that Malaysia is Singapore’s closest neighbour and we share deep and warm relations.
The land VTL launch is a big step towards reconnecting our people and economies. It will serve to enhance our bilateral relationship, reported CNA.
Nonetheless, authorities are looking to roll out the land VTL in a safe and calibrated way.
Those entering Singapore must test negative in a pre-departure Covid-19 antigen rapid test (ART) or polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test.
This has to be taken within 2 days before departure for Singapore.
These travellers also must have remained in Malaysia or any other VTL or Category 1 country recognised by the Singapore Government in the last 14 days.
For now, travellers who enter Singapore by any other means other than the designated VTL buses will be subjected to prevailing border control measures. This includes a 7-day stay-home notice.
It has been 20 whole months since travel across what used to be an extremely busy Causeway was halted.
We’re glad the land VTL will finally be launched come 29 Nov. Extremely good news, especially for those with families across the border.
Hopefully, the land VTL will soon be expanded, making short getaways to JB a possibility again.
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Featured image adapted from Shin Min Daily News and Ministry of Trade & Industry on Facebook.
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