Higher traffic into Malaysia

JOHOR BARU: There are more travellers coming into Malaysia under the land Vaccinated Travel Lane (VTL-Land) than there are those going into Singapore.

The number of travellers crossing the Causeway between Malaysia and Singapore has also shown a steady increase since the start of VTL-Land on Monday.

Johor public works, transportation and infrastructure committee chairman Mohd Solihan Badri said that so far, some 3,258 travellers had crossed the 97-year-old Causeway, also known as Tambak Johor, in the first three days of VTL-Land.

“On the first day of VTL-Land, the number of travellers arriving at Larkin Sentral Bus and Public Transportation Terminal here from Queen Street Terminal in Singapore was 953 people, which is 66% out of the 1,440 quota.

“The number of travellers from Singapore continued to grow on the second day, which recorded 1,037 or 72%, while on Wednesday, the figure stood at 1,269 (88%),” he said here yesterday.

Mohd Solihan, however, said the number of travellers heading into the island republic from here was low.

“For travellers using the VTL-Land from Malaysia to enter Singapore, the first day saw 220 people, which is 15% of the quota.

“The second day saw 188 travellers (13%) while on the third day, the figure rose to 291 travellers or 20%,” he added.

The initial stage of VTL-Land is limited to bus transportation with a daily quota not exceeding 1,500 travellers.

Other modes of land transportation will be included in stages, with the daily quota of travellers to be increased on a weekly basis.

The initiative is to facilitate quarantine-free, seamless cross-border movement integrating health protocols, security and immigration clearance.

Travellers allowed to take part in this scheme are Malaysian and Singaporean citizens and permanent residents as well as holders of Malaysia and Singapore Long-Term Passes.

Handal Indah and Transtar Travel are the two bus companies authorised under the bilateral arrangement to ferry approved travellers across the Causeway and back.

Under the VTL, fully vaccinated travellers can travel between Singapore and Malaysia but are subject to Covid-19 tests in lieu of serving quarantine or a stay-home notice.

However on Wednesday, Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin said travellers using the Malaysia-Singapore VTL by air or land would be required to perform a Covid-19 self-test on the third and seventh day after their arrival.

He also said the results would have to be reported through the MySejahtera app.

The creation of VTLs between countries that had reported transmission of Omicron or were on the ministry’s temporary travel ban would also be postponed, he added.

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