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Daily passenger quota for land VTL between Malaysia and Singapore to increase

Daily passenger quota for land VTL between Malaysia and Singapore to increase

Travellers wait in line at the vaccinated travel lane bus counters at Larkin Station in Johor Bahru on Dec 6, 2021. (Photo: Low Zoey)

SINGAPORE: The daily passenger quota under the land vaccinated travel lane (VTL) between Singapore and Malaysia will be increased from Monday (Mar 14), both countries announced on Thursday.

The daily quota each way will rise from 2,160 to 3,420 - the equivalent of 76 bus trips. Sales for the additional bus tickets will start on Friday. 

"We are progressively expanding the VTL with Malaysia via our land borders, to allow more travellers to travel across the borders," said a spokesperson for Singapore's Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI).

“This would allow even more fully vaccinated people to travel across the Causeway without being subject to quarantine and other related requirements,” said Malaysia’s transport ministry.

Malaysia’s designated bus operator will continue to operate the VTL by land to Singapore from the Larkin Terminal in Johor Bahru, it added.

Earlier this week, Malaysia’s Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob announced that the country would fully reopen its borders on Apr 1 as it begins to transition to a COVID-19 endemic phase.

Travellers who are fully vaccinated will not need to undergo quarantine. They will only need to do a COVID-19 reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) test two days before departure and a professional COVID-19 rapid test kit-antigen (RTK-Ag) test within 24 hours after arrival in Malaysia.

Singapore’s MTI said on Tuesday that it is working with its Malaysian counterparts to expand the land VTL to allow vaccinated travellers to cross the border via other transport routes.

In an effort to slow the spread of the Omicron variant, Singapore froze all new VTL ticket sales between Dec 23 and Jan 20, and reduced the quotas after Jan 20. The quota for VTL (Land) was fully restored on Feb 22

Singapore currently has land and air VTLs with Malaysia.

Under the land VTL, travellers are able to commute between Singapore and Johor Bahru by taking designated bus services across the Causeway. The bus services are operated by two companies, Transtar Travel and Handal Indah. 

Travellers need to obtain a negative pre-departure polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test result or antigen rapid test (ART) result within two days before departure for Singapore.

Upon arrival in Singapore, they can take a supervised self-administered ART at Woodlands and Queen Street Bus Terminals, or choose to take the test at any quick test centre or combined test centre within 24 hours of arrival in Singapore.

"We will continue to review our border measures and expand VTL (Land) in a safe and progressive manner, taking into account the public health situation in both countries and globally," said MTI.

Under the air VTL, there are designated flights between Changi Airport and Kuala Lumpur International Airport. 

From Mar 16, the air VTL for Malaysia will extend beyond Kuala Lumpur to include Penang, starting with four daily flights each way between Singapore and Penang.

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Source: CNA/mi