Singapore and Malaysia to open reciprocal green lane travel

Singapore and Malaysia will today open border crossing applications for long-term pass holders and travellers on essential or official business.

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Photo: REUTERS/Edgar Su

Singapore and Malaysia will today open border crossing applications for long-term pass holders and travellers on essential or official business. Eligible travellers will need to take a COVID-19 test and submit their itineraries to cross into either country.

The two countries previously agreed to open this “green lane” for travel on July 26. Officials also discuss a proposal for daily commuters but decided to table the issue until greater control is established over COVID-19 and regular, comprehensive testing is established.

Re-opening travel between the two countries is a prerequisite for the resumption of daily operations. Before the pandemic, more than 300,000 people crossed the border daily. As a result of the movement control order, Malaysian workers in Singapore remain separated from their families, and Singaporean businesses—which rely heavily upon Malaysian manpower—are stuck in a costly limbo.

With the pandemic deemed to be muted in both Singapore and Malaysia, re-opening cross-border travel is part of a broader easing move across the board. If travellers adhere to the strict monitoring and prevention measures that are required, cross-border travel via the green lane is unlikely to lead to new outbreaks. However, daily commutes will carry more risk and thus may be delayed until the national recovery is more advanced.

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