Malaysia Health Minister says he spoke to Ong Ye Kung about easing travel restrictions

The Causeway has been largely empty save for cargo vehicles since the border closure on March 18, 2020.
The Causeway has been largely empty save for cargo vehicles since the border closure on March 18, 2020.ST PHOTO: SHANNON TEOH

JOHOR BARU (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - Malaysia and Singapore are looking at easing travel restrictions as "close neighbours", Malaysian Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin said on Monday (Oct 25).

He said in a post on his official Twitter account that he met with his Singapore counterpart, Mr Ong Ye Kung, during a transit at Changi International Airport while en route to the World Health Organisation (WHO) regional meeting in Japan.

"Both sides are working to finalise more open and convenient travel arrangements. We hope to announce it soon. #ReopeningSafely," he tweeted.

On Saturday, Singapore upgraded Malaysia to Category III from Category IV as part of its regular review of the Covid-19 situation.

Travellers from Category III regions will from Wednesday serve their 10-day Stay-Home Notice (SHN) at their declared place of residence or accommodation, regardless of the travellers' and their household members' vaccination status and travel history. They currently have to apply to do so.

However, they must always remain in their declared accommodation and don an electronic monitoring device throughout their SHN period.

Besides Malaysia, Cambodia, Egypt, Hungary, Indonesia, Israel, Mongolia, Qatar, Rwanda, Samoa, Seychelles, South Africa, Tonga, United Arab Emirates and Vietnam would also be placed in Category III.

In a press release detailing the measures, Singapore's multi-ministry taskforce on Covid-19 said by default, travellers from Category III would not be allocated accommodation in any dedicated SHN facilities.

"Returning residents should ensure that alternative accommodation is secured prior to their return if their homes are unsuitable for their SHN," it said.