Safeguards needed before S’pore-M’sia travel can resume: Lawrence Wong

This article is more than 12 months old

Even as Singapore and Malaysia discuss how travel can safely resume, it is "quite clear" it will not return to the pre-pandemic situation of large numbers of commuters "freely" crossing the border each day, National Development Minister Lawrence Wong said yesterday.

While Singapore hopes to see a resumption of travel and welcomes travellers, safety remains a key priority, he said in reply to a question on when and how Malaysians will be allowed to come into Singapore to work.

Malaysia's Senior Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob announced yesterday that Malaysians working in Singapore can travel and resume work here once both governments reach a resolution on the matter. Malaysians can undergo Covid-19 screenings before resuming work in Singapore, if that is among the conditions, he added.

Mr Wong said the resumption of travel in a safe way "would mean looking at testing protocols in place on both sides".

If everyone cannot be tested, then a combination of strategies may need to be deployed, including requiring some groups to serve out a quarantine period upon arrival, he added.

He said the Singapore authorities are in the midst of working out details with their Malaysian counterparts, including the number of people allowed to travel between the countries and the industries allowed to travel for work. What is clear is that travel between Singapore and Malaysia will not return to the state that it was in before the circuit breaker, or before Covid-19 hit, the minister stressed. - THE STRAITS TIMES