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5 things you need to know about the Singapore-Malaysia land border reopening

SINGAPORE: From Apr 1, fully vaccinated travellers will be able to cross the land borders between Singapore and Malaysia in their own vehicles again and without the need for quarantine or COVID-19 tests. 

Authorities are expecting a surge in travellers, and have urged those with no urgent need to travel to hold off for the time being. 

Here are five things to know if you intend to make the trip. 

HOW CAN I CROSS THE LAND BORDERS?

From Apr 1, fully vaccinated travellers will be allowed to cross the land border into Singapore and Malaysia by private transport. 

For the first time in two years, they will be able to drive their cars or ride their motorcycles across the Causeway and Second Link. 

Travellers can also choose to use designated vaccinated travel bus services while Singapore and Malaysia work to restore cross-border public bus services. 

Malaysian Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin said that there will be no quota for all modes of travel and that the land checkpoints will operate 24 hours daily.

DO I NEED TO TAKE ANY COVID-19 TESTS? 

No. All fully vaccinated travellers, and non-fully vaccinated children aged 12 and below, will no longer be subject to any COVID-19 test requirement. 

Travellers can use the Vaccination Check Portal on the SafeTravel website to submit their digital vaccination certificates in advance, said Singapore's Ministry of Trade and Industry.

WHAT TRAVEL DOCUMENTS DO I NEED? 

In addition to your passport, those entering Singapore in foreign-registered vehicles must have a valid Autopass card and Land Transport Authority's (LTA) approval email.

The Autopass Card serves as an electronic Vehicle Entry Permit (VEP) for foreign cars and motorcycles and is used to record the vehicle’s entry into Singapore and to pay all entry and exit fees when the vehicle is driven out of Singapore.

VEPs have validity period of 14 days.

VEPs can only be applied for online, on the LTA's OneMotoring website. Travellers should plan their trips at least two weeks ahead to allow enough time for the VEP application and approval process.  

Those with existing valid VEPs can begin to cross the borders into Singapore from 11.59pm on Mar 31. 

Drivers or riders from Malaysia who do not present a valid Autopass card together with LTA's VEP approval email will not be allowed to enter Singapore.

Additionally, all travellers, including Singapore citizens, permanent residents and long-term pass holders, must complete their SG Arrival Card within three days before arriving at the checkpoints.

IS MY VTL BUS TICKET STILL VALID? 

Yes. Designated vaccinated travel bus services will continue to operate for now, as cross-border public bus services are not yet up and running. 

Singapore's Ministry of Trade and Industry said authorities in both countries are working to progressively restore such public bus services. 

WHAT ABOUT AIR TRAVEL? 

Singapore also announced on Thursday it will reopen its borders to all fully vaccinated travellers from Apr 1, removing all existing vaccinated travel lanes (VTL) and unilateral opening arrangements.

Under the framework, all fully vaccinated travellers, as well as children aged 12 and below, will be able to enter Singapore with just a pre-departure COVID-19 test from 11.59pm on Mar 31.

They will also no longer need to apply for entry approvals or take designated VTL transport to enter Singapore quarantine-free. In addition, there will be no more quotas on the number of daily arrivals.

While they will continue to be subjected to a pre-departure test within two days before departure for Singapore, they will not be required to serve a stay-home notice or undergo an unsupervised antigen rapid test (ART) after arriving in Singapore.

Prior to Singapore's announcement, Malaysia had also announced that it would reopen its borders fully on Apr 1.

Foreigners entering Malaysia with valid travel documents will not need to undergo quarantine, so long as they are fully vaccinated. 

The requirement for foreigners to apply to enter Malaysia using the MyTravelPass application will also be lifted. 

Instead, they only need to download and activate the MySejahtera contact tracing app and fill up a pre-departure form in the app.

Travellers entering Malaysia from Singapore by air will need to take a COVID-19 ART two days before departure, instead of the more costly reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) test as previously stipulated for travellers entering via the vaccinated travel lane (VTL) scheme. 

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Source: CNA/vc

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