As Chinese New Year (CNY) approaches, some who have family across the Causeway might not have secured tickets to go back yet.
After Vaccinated Travel Lane (VTL) tickets were frozen for a month, they might have despaired over the possibility of not seeing their loved ones for another CNY.
Thankfully, tickets for the VTL between Singapore and Malaysia have resumed on Friday (21 Jan).
Those who managed to snag a ticket for today onwards can resume their journeys.
Malaysian Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin announced the good news over Twitter on Friday (21 Jan).
In a Malay-language statement appended in his post, he said the decision was made after a risk assessment on the Covid-19 situation in both countries.
This comes almost a month after ticket sales for both flights and buses were suspended from 23 Dec to 20 Jan due to an increase in Omicron cases.
However, things won’t quite be back to normal.
Mr Khairy said the ticket quota for both land and air VTLs would only be 50% of the existing capacity.
As for when this quota can be increased, the minister said this would depend on the risk assessment of the Ministry of Health (MOH).
This decrease in quota will likely make it even more challenging to get a ticket.
Indeed, a netizen responded to Mr Khairy’s announcement a few hours later, claiming that all the tickets for Transtar had been snapped up till 28 Feb.
Those who were lucky to get tickets before the suspension could still travel via the VTL even during the suspension period.
Mr Khairy also said those who bought tickets dated 21 Jan and later, before the suspension was announced, would also be able to continue their journeys according to the earlier quota.
He reminded travellers entering Malaysia to do an Antigen Rapid Test (ART) on themselves on the 2nd, 4th and 6th day after their arrival.
They should also go for “professional” ARTs on the 3rd and 5th days.
For VTL travellers entering Singapore, the rules are even easier.
From Monday (24 Jan), they will no longer need to perform ARTs daily.
They’ll only have to do a self-test if they head out between the 2nd-7th day, and it doesn’t need to be submitted online.
Fully vaccinated travellers who recovered from Covid-19 within 90 days of arrival in Singapore will also be exempted from all testing and stay-home requirements.
Due to the close connections between Singaporeans and Malaysians, the VTLs between the countries would always be hotly anticipated.
Thus, we’re glad that ticket sales have finally reopened after a period of uncertainty so our Malaysian friends can see their families again, especially for CNY.
Hopefully, the Omicron situation also eases, so both governments will be comfortable with increasing the quota soon.
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