JOHOR BARU: Singapore’s move to extend the quarantine period of those with a travel history to Malaysia from seven days to 14 days has put many Malaysian workers there in a limbo.
Those who had planned to return to Malaysia are now re-evaluating their decision, while others who are currently in Johor for short visits are unsure of their fate upon returning to the island republic under the new ruling.
Security officer C. Devan Raaj, 30, who is currently in Johor for a short visit, is disappointed with the sudden announcement.
He said he did not know how he could afford the extra quarantine period.
“I have reached out to my company after finding out about the announcement. They said they are currently discussing the matter and will update me accordingly.
“I returned to Johor on Nov 10 after being in Singapore since the closing of the border on March 18.
“I was supposed to go back on Dec 1 and observe the seven-day stay-home notice (SHN), which my company had agreed to pay for but now I am unsure if it will also pay for the extra seven days, ” he said.
Assistant chemist M. Eddie’s plan to see his family after being apart for close to a year had been disrupted by the new measure.
“I planned to go back for Christmas but I do not think I can now.
“Mostly because the updated 14-day quarantine means that my entire annual leave will be used up for quarantine only.
“The rest of my time in Malaysia will be unpaid leave and it would also have to be cut short.
“Plus, the quarantine cost would also be double from the previous seven-day period, ” said the 25-year-old.
Eddie is also unsure if his company is willing to fork out extra money for the quarantine.
Accountant Adeline Lim, 28, is waiting for her company to discuss with her how the recent changes would affect her plans to return in January.
“I had already planned to go back to Johor early next year. But with these recent changes, I’m now unsure if I want to follow through with the plan, especially with the cost of extra quarantine.
“I have yet to make up my mind and would be waiting for further details from my company on how we could perhaps share the cost of the SHN, ” Lim said, adding that her company had previously agreed to pay for the seven-day quarantine in the island republic.
On Friday, Singapore’s Health Ministry announced that travellers entering the island republic from Malaysia and Japan would have to serve a 14-day SHN starting from 11.59pm on Sunday.
“We had earlier announced that travellers from Malaysia (excluding Sabah) are allowed to serve a seven-day SHN at their place of residence while travellers with a travel history to Sabah, Malaysia, are required to serve a 14-day SHN at dedicated SHN facilities.
“Given the sharp increase in cases in Malaysia recently, all travellers entering Singapore from Nov 22,11.59pm, who have a travel history (including transit) in the past 14 days to Malaysia will now be required to serve a 14-day SHN at dedicated SHN facilities.
“This also applies to travellers entering Singapore to work under the Periodic Commuting Arrangement (PCA) and returning Singapore-based travellers under the Reciprocal Green Lane (RGL), ” the ministry said in a statement.
It also said that starting from Nov 27,11.59pm, all travellers, except for Singapore citizens and Singapore permanent residents, entering the island republic, who have a travel history in the past 14 days to Malaysia will be required to take a Covid. -19 polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test within 72 hours before departure.
“Travellers will need to present a valid negative Covid-19 test result as a condition of approval to enter Singapore.
“This requirement will take effect for those arriving in Singapore from Nov 27,11.59pm. This requirement will not apply to returning Singapore-based travellers under the RGL, ” it said.
Meanwhile, all travellers entering Singapore from Nov 22,11.59pm and who have a travel history in the past 14 days to Japan would also be required to serve a 14-day SHN at dedicated SHN facilities, even if they have obtained approval to opt out earlier.
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