Malaysia's movement curbs: Johor hopes to reopen border with Singapore

People walking across the Causeway from Malaysia towards Woodlands Checkpoint shortly before 10pm on March 17, 2020. Beginning March 18, the border between Malaysia and Singapore has been locked down. ST PHOTO: CHONG JUN LIANG
A view of the Woodlands Causeway at 9:50am on March 18, 2020. ST PHOTO: GIN TAY

KOTA ISKANDAR (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - The Johor state government said on Wednesday (March 18) it hopes to reopen the border with Singapore within the next few days.

Menteri Besar Hasni Mohammad said this would be done with more stringent health checks on both sides of the border.

"We are coming up with a mitigation plan during this Covid-19 outbreak.

"Among the categories exempted are those with work passes by Malaysia or Singapore, students studying in Singapore, those with specialised skills, businessmen, those involved in logistics, and others that would be announced soon," he said after chairing the state executive councillors meeting.

He said a special committee headed by him, the state secretary and state security council would discuss the matter on Wednesday.

They will also have a discussion with their Singaporean counterparts the day after before they forward the matter to the Federal Government for announcement.

Beginning Wednesday, the border between Malaysia and Singapore has been locked down, except for lorries and people with special permission.

The move is part of Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin's order on a nationwide restriction of movement that is expected to last until March 31.

The order came following a sudden weekend spike in Malaysia's coronavirus case count, totalling 673.

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The country also recorded its first deaths from the crisis - that of a 60-year-old pastor in Sarawak and a 34-year-old man in Johor.

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