Johor Causeway to shorten operations to 12 hours daily beginning Friday: Malaysian senior minister

Johor Causeway to shorten operations to 12 hours daily beginning Friday: Malaysian senior minister

A couple walk with their child and luggage across the causeway
A couple walk with their child and luggage across the Causeway from Malaysia's southern state of Johor (top) towards the Woodlands checkpoint in Singapore on Apr 1, 2020. (Photo: AFP/Roslan Rahman)

PUTRAJAYA: The operating hours for the Immigration Department and related agencies in Bangunan Sultan Iskandar at the Johor Causeway will be reduced to 12 hours a day starting this Friday (Apr 24), said Malaysian Senior Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob.

Speaking during a press conference on Tuesday, he announced that the customs, immigration and quarantine complex will only operate from 7am to 7pm daily.

However, he said Malaysians and Singaporeans can continue to use the Sultan Abu Bakar Complex at the Second Link, which will operate round the clock as usual.

"If there is an emergency, Malaysians could still return using the Second Link when the Causeway is closed,” he said.

"Commercial vehicles can also move as usual at the Second Link,” he added.

READ: Undaunted by COVID-19 and border controls, Malaysian mums in Singapore send around 3,000kg of breast milk to babies back home

Meanwhile, Mr Ismail Sabri said based on reports from the Immigration Department, there has been no massive influx of Malaysians from Singapore. He said that the average number of people using the causeway in the past four days was 400 a day.

“In fact, the Johor Bahru quarantine centre estimated only about 350 people are allowed to return and as such as we are able to cope,” he said, adding that the government is providing 6,000 rooms for compulsory quarantine at 22 quarantine centres in Johor Bahru and its surrounding areas.

He added that the National Disaster Management Agency has prepared another 4,000 rooms for quarantine. This means there is a total of 10,000 quarantine rooms in Johor Bahru and nearby towns, should more Malaysians decide to return.

Ismail Sabri Mar 19
Malaysia's Senior Minister and Defence Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob speaks at a press conference in Putrajaya on Mar 19, 2020. (Photo: Bernama)

As of Tuesday, Mr Ismail Sabri said there are 193 quarantine centres in operation in Malaysia, with 16,844 individuals undergoing mandatory quarantine.

He said 14,937 Malaysians who returned from abroad have been undergoing compulsory quarantine since Apr 3. He also said that 2,317 individuals had completed their isolation and were allowed to return home.

There are now more than 5,400 COVID-19 cases in Malaysia, with over 90 deaths.

Under Malaysia’s movement control order, which is set to last until Apr 28, schools and non-essential businesses are closed.

People are urged to stay at home to minimise contact as health authorities rush against the clock to contain the spread of the virus.

On Tuesday, the Singapore government announced that it will extend circuit breaker measures until Jun 1. There are now more than 9,000 COVID-19 cases in Singapore, with 11 deaths.

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Source: Bernama/aw

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