VTL-Land numbers can be increased

ISKANDAR PUTERI: The number of people allowed to travel across the Causeway can increase to pre-Covid-19 levels in the next two to three months, says Datuk Hasni Mohammad (pic).

However, the Johor Mentri Besar said this would depend on the successful implementation of the Vaccinated Travel Lane for land crossing (VTL-Land).

He said the number of travellers allowed to cross daily between Johor and Singapore could go up to between 200,000 and 300,000.

“If we can control the situation, ensure standard operating procedures are carried out smoothly and do not face any restrictions or hindrance, then I think in the next two to three months we should be able to open up.

“It depends on the SOP,” he said during a press conference after launching the Johor Special Housing Project at Gerbang Nusajaya here yesterday.

In the meantime, Hasni hopes there will be a gradual weekly increase in the number of people allowed to travel across the Causeway through the VTL-Land arrangement.

“At the early stage, 1,440 people could travel across the Causeway (each way) through public transportation.

“Those in charge of managing transportation experienced a large volume of bookings in a short period.

“This shows that both the Malaysia and Singapore governments as well as the Johor state government need to look into opening up the border for more people immediately,” he said.

Hasni said there was no denying that the new Covid-19 variant (Omicron) had raised concerns and could affect plans to reopen borders.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob and his Singapore counterpart Lee Hsien Loong are expected to jointly open the VTL-Land tomorrow.

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