The daily passenger quota under the vaccinated travel lane (VTL) – land, between Singapore and Malaysia, is going to increase by almost 60 percent from 14 March, 2022. Raising the number from 2,160 to 3,420, both countries made the announcement on 10 March.
As the world is trying to get back on its feet, Malaysia has been working towards reopening borders and welcoming easy international travel that will boost the economy. Singapore too is introducing measures to ensure public safety while getting back to normalcy. In another step towards public safety and growth in easy travel, this news comes as a major development.
Here’s everything we know
Increase in VTL quota
This move will allow more passengers from either country to cross the borders easily without any quarantine mandates or other such requirements. Malaysia’s transport minister Datuk Seri Wee Ka Siong said that it will be beneficial for all fully vaccinated people travelling across the Causeway without any hassle from 14 March.
Confirming the news to The Straits Times, a spokesperson of Singapore’s Ministry of Trade and Industry said, “We are progressively expanding the Vaccinated Travel Lane (VTL) with Malaysia via our land borders, to allow more travellers to travel across the borders.”
The increase in the numbers is equivalent to nearly 76 bus trips. Additional bus ticket sales will begin on 11 March. Malaysia’s designated bus operators will continue to offer regular services on the VTL by land from Larkin Terminal in Johor, Bahru to Singapore.
VTL requirements of pre-departure and on-arrival tests continue to be in place. Fully vaccinated passengers will just have to produce a COVID-19 reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) test two days before the date of departure and a professional COVID-19 rapid test kit-antigen (RTK-Ag) test within 24 hours of arriving in Malaysia.
Singapore and Malaysia COVID-19 conditions
The announcement comes after Malaysian Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob declared that as the country has begun to enter the endemic stage of COVID-19, it will open its borders completely from 1 April, 2022.
This will introduce several relaxations, the VTL-land agreement with Singapore will continue to remain as a bilateral agreement between both governments to ensure better safety for land travel to and from the republic.
In a step to reduce the spread of the Omicron variant, Singapore had frozen all VTL land ticket sales between 23 December 2021 and 20 January 2022. The quota was reduced after January 20 and finally restored on 22 February.
(Main and feature image credit: Lionel Lim, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons)