Singapore

S'pore, Malaysia hold VTL dry run at Causeway to test new protocols

Trial will help refine processes as both sides finalise details before reopening land borders

Singapore and Malaysia conducted a trial at the Johor-Singapore Causeway yesterday morning to test new protocols ahead of the reopening of land borders.

Both sides are in the process of finalising details of a land Vaccinated Travel Lane (VTL) scheme.

When open, the VTL will allow workers from both countries to reunite with their families, the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI) said in a Facebook post yesterday evening. The trial will allow the authorities to refine their processes before the VTL is launched.

MTI said: "This is an ongoing multi-agency effort together with our Malaysian counterparts, and we are excited to see our land borders reopen."

Welcoming the move yesterday morning, Malaysian Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin wrote on Twitter in Malay: "Officials from both Malaysia and Singapore are implementing a 'dry run' for the proposed opening of the VTL through the Johor Causeway.

"The opening of the border is much anticipated by the people of both countries. Hope it goes well."

About 1,440 people are expected to be able to travel between Johor and Singapore in the first week of the implementation of the land VTL.

The total daily quota of arrivals into Singapore from all eligible countries via the VTL is 10,000.

Under Singapore's VTL scheme, people who are fully vaccinated are able to travel into Singapore on designated flights, and take Covid-19 tests in lieu of serving quarantine or stay-home notice.

The air VTL between Singapore and Malaysia will be launched next Monday.

Before the pandemic, the Woodlands Causeway and Tuas Second Link together saw about 415,000 travellers daily.

More than 100,000 Malaysians continue to live and work in Singapore despite travel restrictions.

At a press conference on Sunday, Minister for Trade and Industry Gan Kim Yong said: "I am optimistic that we will be able to launch this VTL for land around the end of this month, close to the launch of the VTL for air. And it is also possible that we would be able to do so on the same day."

malaysiaVACCINATED TRAVEL LANE/VTLCauseway