JOHOR BARU: Malaysia and Singapore are looking at easing travel restrictions as "close neighbours'', says Khairy Jamaluddin (pic).
The Health Minister said in a post on his official Twitter account that he met with his Singapore counterpart, Ong Ye Kung, during a transit at Changi International Airport while en route to the World Health Organisation (WHO) regional meeting in Japan.
“Both sides are working to finalise more open and convenient travel arrangements. We hope to announce it soon. #ReopeningSafely,” he tweeted.
On Saturday, Singapore upgraded Malaysia to Category III from Category IV as part of their regular review of the Covid-19 situation.
This means all travellers from Malaysia would serve their 10-day Stay-Home Notice (SHN) at their declared place of residence or accommodation in Singapore from October 27.
This was regardless of the travellers and their household members vaccination status and travel history, according to the republic’s Multi-Ministry Taskforce (MTF) on Covid-19.
Besides Malaysia, Cambodia, Egypt, Hungary, Indonesia, Israel, Mongolia, Qatar, Rwanda, Samoa, Seychelles, South Africa, Tonga, United Arab Emirates and Vietnam, would also be placed in Category III.
Singapore had started classifying countries or regions under four categories in August this year with the higher vaccination rates, providing a foundation for the country to introduce vaccination-differentiated border measures for travellers.
In a press release detailing the measures, MTF said by default, they would not be allocated accommodation in any dedicated SHN facilities.
"Returning residents should ensure that alternative accommodation is secured prior to their return if their homes are unsuitable for their SHN," it said.
However, MTF noted that if travellers were residing with unvaccinated household members, they were strongly encouraged to serve their SHN in isolation in a room, and minimise contact with their vulnerable household members.
On testing procedures, Category III travellers were no longer required to undergo additional Antigen Rapid Test on the 3rd and 7th days of their arrival, during the SHN.
This includes travellers who arrived from October 22.
All travellers from Category III countries would also no longer need to undergo an on-arrival Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) test, and would only undergo an exit PCR test during the end of SHN.
However, Long-Term Pass Holders (LTPH) with passes issued by the Ministry of Manpower may have to comply with additional requirements and measures.
"We will continue to adjust our border measures as the global situation evolves so that we will reconnect with the world and reinstate our economic position globally," said the MTF.
Travellers, who were not Singapore citizens, permanent residents or LTPH, may enter Singapore for short-term visits only if they were arriving from Category I countries, unless arrangements had been separately announced such as Vaccinated Travel Lanes or Reciprocal Green Lanes.