SINGAPORE: There has been good progress in discussions between Singapore and Malaysia on launching a Vaccinated Travel Lane (VTL) across the land links, said Singapore’s Ministry of Trade and Industry on Thursday (Nov 18).
Earlier on Thursday, Johor Chief Minister Hasni Mohammad was reported as saying by Malaysian media that the land VTL between Singapore and Malaysia will open on Nov 29, the same day as the air VTL between Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) and Changi Airport.
Responding to CNA’s queries, an MTI spokesperson said: “Singapore and Malaysia are working closely to further restore connectivity between the two countries.”
“We have made good progress on our discussion with Malaysia on launching a VTL across our land links. Many workers from both countries have not been able to see their families for many months and they will be one of our priorities when we reopen the land borders, to allow them to reunite with their families.”
The spokesperson added that MTI hopes to finalise the details of the land VTL soon, and will announce it once it has been worked out.
On Nov 8, the prime ministers of both sides said that a VTL between Changi Airport and KLIA will begin on Nov 29.
Under the VTL, 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 stay-home notice.
Earlier this week, co-chairman of the COVID-19 multi-ministry task force and Trade and Industry Minister Gan Kim Yong said that the land border between Singapore and Malaysia could reopen in a few weeks' time under a "Vaccinated Travel Lane-like arrangement".
"We are working to launch this soon, hopefully in a few weeks' time."
The Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS) said on Thursday that six airlines have been designated to provide VTL flights between Singapore and Malaysia. The airlines are AirAsia, Jetstar Asia, Malaysia Airlines, Malindo Air, Scoot and Singapore Airlines.
Singapore and Malaysia currently have in place safe travel arrangements through the Periodic Commuting Arrangement, which facilitates the movement of workers between both countries. The Reciprocal Green Lane scheme is presently suspended.
Editor’s note: This article has been updated after CAAS amended its press release to remove the reference to the six airlines operating one daily service each.
BOOKMARK THIS: Our comprehensive coverage of the COVID-19 pandemic and its developments
Download our app or subscribe to our Telegram channel for the latest updates on the coronavirus pandemic: https://cna.asia/telegram