ISKANDAR PUTERI: The Malaysia and Singapore governments are assessing whether to maintain the original quota for the air and land Vaccinated Travel Lane (VTL) or to half the capacity once the suspension is lifted.
Transport Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wee Ka Siong said the air and land VTL had been suspended since Dec 23, 2021.
“Due to concerns over the Omicron variant, the VTL had to be suspended temporarily for new applications while those whose previously approved applications could continue with their journeys.
“Based on initial discussions, the number of people who can travel through the lane would be 50% of its previous capacity.
“Nonetheless, in the next few weeks, we will make further assessments. If both parties decide to stay with 50%, then we will stick to it or if the situation improves, it will be otherwise,” he said.
Dr Wee said this after attending the Port of Tanjung Pelepas (PTP) celebration for being the first container terminal in Malaysia to surpass 11 million twenty-foot equivalent units (TEU) throughput volume in a year at PTP on Friday (Jan 7).
On Dec 30 last year, the MCA president said the fate of the air and land VTL would be decided at least 48 hours before Jan 20, when the temporary suspension of the scheme is expected to end.
He said the decision on whether the temporary suspension would continue depended on the situation then.
All sales of bus and air tickets from Malaysia to Singapore under the VTL had been suspended from Dec 23 until Jan 20 following the island republic’s decision to freeze cross-border travel due to the rising number of imported Covid-19 cases.
However, all travellers who already had flight or bus tickets for the VTL and met the requirements could continue to travel under the lane.