Land VTL: More going to Malaysia than coming to Singapore, says Johor official

The number of travellers crossing the Causeway between Malaysia and Singapore increased since the start of VTL-Land on Nov 29, 2021. ST PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI

JOHOR BARU (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - There are more travellers coming into Malaysia under the land Vaccinated Travel Lane (VTL-Land) scheme than there are those going into Singapore.

The number of travellers crossing the Causeway between Malaysia and Singapore has also shown a steady increase since the start of the VTL-Land on Monday (Nov 29).

Johor public works, transportation and infrastructure committee chairman Mohd Solihan Badri said that so far, 3,258 travellers had crossed the 97-year-old Causeway, also known as Tambak Johor, in the first three days of the VTL-Land.

"On the first day of VTL-Land, the number of travellers arriving at Larkin Sentral Bus and Public Transportation Terminal here from Queen Street Terminal in Singapore was 953 people, which is 66 per cent out of the 1,440 quota.

"The number of travellers from Singapore continued to grow on the second day, which recorded 1,037 or 72 per cent, while on Wednesday, the figure stood at 1,269 (88 per cent)," he said on Thursday.

Mr Mohd Solihan, however, said the number of travellers heading into the island republic from Malaysia was low.

"For travellers using the VTL-Land from Malaysia to enter Singapore, the first day saw 220 people, which is 15 per cent of the quota.

"The second day saw 188 travellers (13 per cent) while on the third day, the figure rose to 291 travellers or 20 per cent," he added.

The initial stage of the VTL-Land is limited to bus transportation.

Other modes of land transportation will be included in stages, with the daily quota of travellers to be increased on a weekly basis.

The initiative is to facilitate quarantine-free, seamless cross-border movement integrating health protocols, security and immigration clearance.

Travellers allowed to take part in this scheme are Malaysia and Singapore citizens and permanent residents as well as holders of Malaysia and Singapore long-term passes.

Handal Indah and Transtar Travel are the two bus companies authorised under the bilateral arrangement to ferry approved travellers across the Causeway and back.

Under the VTL, fully vaccinated travellers can travel between Singapore and Malaysia but are subject to Covid-19 tests in lieu of serving quarantine or a stay-home notice.

However on Wednesday, Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin said travellers using the Malaysia-Singapore VTL by air or land would be required to perform a Covid-19 self-test on the third and seventh day after their arrival.

He also said the results would have to be reported through the MySejahtera app.

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