The Big Story: Families reunite as S'poreans, Malaysians cross Causeway quarantine-free

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Catch the latest news video reports on The Big Story, The Straits Times' weekday online news programme.

Land travel between Singapore and Malaysia under the vaccinated travel lane (VTL) scheme kicked off on Monday morning (Nov 29) with the first of the designated bus services leaving for Johor Baru at about 8am.

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and his Malaysian counterpart Ismail Sabri Yaakob witnessed the launch of the land VTL at Woodlands Checkpoint.

PM Lee said at a joint press conference after the launch that both countries are aiming to expand the land VTL scheme to include general travellers from mid-December.

Discussions will also start on a sea VTL to allow port calls between Singapore cruise ships to Malaysian ports.

Over at Queen Street Bus Terminal, the first bus arrived from Malaysia at 9.48am with three passengers.

Multimedia journalist Cheow Sue-Ann, who was at the bus terminal, shares more.

On Covid-19 news, scientists around the world are scrambling to gather data on the new Omicron variant - its capabilities and most importantly how effective the current vaccines are against it.

Based on early findings, the variant may be more transmissible and better able to evade the body's immune responses - both to vaccination and natural infection.

Associate professor David Allen from the Infectious Diseases Translational Research Programme at NUS' Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine weighs in.

Also on the show, national shuttler Loh Kean Yew reflects on his impressive run at the Indonesia Open, but says it is only going to get harder moving forward with the upcoming tournaments.

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