Vaccinated Singaporeans and Malaysians will be able to pay house calls and get friendly again by land next week.
Vaccinated travelers may cross the causeway linking Singapore to Johor, Malaysia, by bus starting Monday, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong announced today, a day after photos of a “dry run” at the Johor’s checkpoint were released to the public by Malaysian Minister Khairy Jamaluddin. Nearly 3,000 people will be allowed to travel by bus each day and enter the two territories without quarantine, according to Singapore’s announcement.
“The Causeway was one of the busiest land borders in the world before the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted our cross-border activities,” Lee said in a statement. “The launch of the VTL (Land) is a big step towards reconnecting our people and economies, and will further enhance our bilateral relationship.”
Travelers must produce a negative COVID-19 test result before departure and take another upon arrival in Malaysia. On-arrival tests are not required in Singapore.
Two bus operators – Transtar Travel and Handal Indah – have been tapped to transport travelers across the causeway. Transtar will focus on the route between Woodlands Temporary Bus Interchange in Singapore and the Larkin Sentral Bus Terminal in Johor Bahru. Handal Indah will travel from the Queen Street Bus Terminal in Singapore. Each operator is allowed up to 32 daily trips – both ways – with each bus carrying a maximum of 45 seated passengers.
Bus tickets will go on sale tomorrow morning. From Singapore, each ticket costs S$15 for adults and S$8 for children. From Malaysia, tickets are RM20 for adults and RM10 for children.
Singapore shut the causeway in March 2020 at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. Thousands of Malaysian workers were stranded in Singapore, with some forced to sleep in the streets.