The Big Story: S'pore suspends inbound VTL ticket sales for four-week period amid Omicron surge

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

Airlines will no longer be allowed to sell new vaccinated travel lane (VTL) flight tickets for travel into Singapore from Thursday (Dec 23) until Jan 20. The suspension of sales also applies to those travelling on the Singapore-Malaysia land VTL.

This comes as Singapore tightens its borders amid a rising number of imported Covid-19 cases.

Journalist Toh Ting Wei discusses these stricter measures, as well as whether the four-week suspension will affect New Year and Chinese New Year travel plans.

In other local news, over 80 per cent of this year's PSLE candidates were posted to a secondary school within their first three choices. More than 90 per cent were posted to a school within their six listed choices.

This year's batch of pupils is the first to take the national exam under the new scoring system, which has replaced the previous T-scores. They received their Secondary 1 posting results on Wednesday.

The Ministry of Education said these results "are comparable to previous years".

Meanwhile, the Government will contribute US$60,000 (S$81,900) as seed money to support the Singapore Red Cross' (SRC) public fundraising to aid disaster relief and recovery efforts in Malaysia and the Philippines.

It will supplement the SRC's pledges of US$50,000 each to the Malaysian Red Crescent and Philippine Red Cross.

"The floods in Malaysia and Typhoon Rai in the Philippines have resulted in the loss of many lives and widespread destruction of property, causing hardship and suffering to many communities," said the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in a statement.

Also on the show, The Big Story speaks to Ms Falice Ann of One Wish SG. The organisation helps children in Singapore who don't have the privilege of celebrating their birthdays.

Ms Ann is one of the profiles for The Straits Times' Causes Week 2021. The campaign casts a spotlight on various individuals and groups, and shows how they are making a difference through their chosen causes within the community.

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