Singapore and Malaysia will launch a Vaccinated Travel Lane (VTL) across the causeway from Nov 29.

This would allow fully vaccinated travellers to travel between Singapore and Malaysia via designated VTL buses and be subjected to Covid-19 tests in lieu of serving quarantine or Stay-Home Notice (SHN). 

Travellers who arrive via other means — such as private transport or walking across the causeway will be subjected to prevailing border control measures, including serving a seven-day SHN.

In the first phase, travellers have to be citizens, permanent residents or long-term pass holders of the country they are entering to give priority for those who have been working in either country to visit their families, Singapore’s Prime Minister Office said. 

Tickets for the designated land VTL buses will go on sale from Nov 25 at 8am. 

See: Singapore to open vaccinated travel lanes with India, Indonesia

Transtar Travel will operate 32 daily designated trips between Woodlands Temporary Bus Interchange and Larkin Sentral Bus Terminal, while Handal Indah will operate 32 daily trips between Larkin Sentral Bus Terminal and Queen Street Terminal. 

The maximum capacity for each VTL (Land) designated bus is 45 fully-seated passengers per trip. This means that up to 1,440 travellers will be able to travel each day in a single direction.

Travellers are required to purchase their bus tickets at least three days prior to the date of departure. 

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said the causeway was one of the busiest land borders in the world before the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted both countries’ cross-border activities. “The launch of the VTL (Land) is a big step towards reconnecting our people and economies, and will further enhance our bilateral relationship.”

Meanwhile, trade and industry minister Gan Kim Yong said the VTL (Land) will be rolled out in a safe and calibrated manner to ensure smooth progress. “We seek the understanding of workers who may not be able to purchase a bus ticket to travel home immediately due to limited capacity in the initial phase of the launch. 

“We will continue to work with Malaysia to expand the VTL (Land) arrangement to more travellers in the coming weeks,” says Gan. 

Both Singapore and Malaysia have previously announced a VTL between Changi Airport and Kuala Lumpur International Airport, which will start on the same day (Nov 29). 

Photo: Albert Chua/The Edge Singapore