Johor proposes travel bubble procedures for regular commuters to S'pore in push to reopen border

The two borders between the two countries have been closed since March 18, 2020. PHOTO: ST FILE

JOHOR BARU (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - The Johor state government will keep pushing for the reopening of its two land border checkpoints with Singapore with a new standard operating procedure in June to create a travel bubble between both for those who need to commute regularly.

Johor Menteri Besar Hasni Mohammad said besides being vaccinated, the 100,000 workers going to Singapore would need to follow a fixed route to and from their workplace, and not be allowed to travel to other parts of the country.

"We want to have a mechanism to control the movement of our people. That means they travel from Point A to Point B, similar to our lorry drivers and their co-drivers who have to commute daily to a specific destination (in Singapore) to send their goods," he said.

Datuk Hasni hoped the new standard operating procedure proposed by the Johor government would provide assurance for Singapore when the issue of border reopening is discussed by both prime ministers in Singapore on May 4.

"Malaysia is also looking at having a travel bubble with other countries such as the United Kingdom, Australia and countries in the Middle East," he said, adding that the border closure had brought a lot of hardship to Johor due to the shutdown of a number of businesses there.

Johor has been advocating both Malaysia and Singapore to reopen their borders. The two borders between the two countries have been closed since March 18 last year.

Earlier this month, Mr Hasni said the state government will roll out a Covid-19 vaccination app aimed at Malaysians who commute between both countries.

It is also targeting to give Covid-19 vaccinations to at least 100,000 Malaysians who hold jobs in Singapore as it hopes to reopen Malaysia's border with the Republic by May or June.

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