SINGAPORE - Applications for cross-border travel between Singapore and Malaysia for long-term pass holders and essential business and official travellers will start on Aug 10 - but with strict precautionary measures in place before, during and after their visits.
For example, all travellers must have documentation - applied for by their companies or host agencies - to show that the authorities of the visiting country had approved the trip, and be tested for Covid-19 upon arrival.
Those entering either country for shorter-term visits of up to 14 days must also adhere to a controlled itinerary for the duration of their stay, and download any contact tracing applications as required by the authorities.
The short-term visitors will also not be allowed to use public transport for the duration of their stay, except for private-hire cars, taxis or company transport.
Work pass holders entering Singapore under the scheme that requires them to stay here for longer periods of at least 90 days will be required to serve a stay-home notice. However, the stay-home notice period has been shortened from the usual 14 days to a period of at least seven days.
These details on the requirements, health protocols and application process involved for entry and exit into Malaysia and Singapore were posted on the website of the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) on Saturday (Aug 1).
The release of details follows an earlier agreement between Singapore and Malaysia on July 14 to start discussions on how cross-border travel can be facilitated for long-term pass holders and essential business and official travellers.
The restart of cross-border travel between Singapore and Malaysia will take place under two schemes: the reciprocal green lane, for travellers who make shorter visits; and the longer-term periodic commuting arrangement.
These schemes are not available to students or tourists.
Before the coronavirus pandemic, more than 300,000 travellers used the Causeway every day. Among these were about 100,000 Malaysians who commuted daily between Singapore and Malaysia.
Periodic commuting arrangement
This scheme allows for longer-term travel for work and business-related travel between both countries, with travellers having to remain in the destination country for at least 90 days before returning for home leave.
Travellers under this scheme can only do so via the two land border crossings at Woodlands or Tuas checkpoints.
Applications for the periodic commuting arrangement scheme must be submitted by employers on behalf of their employees from 12pm on Aug 10.
Travellers entering Singapore under this scheme are required to serve a stay-home notice (SHN) of at least seven days and undertake a Covid-19 polymerase chain reaction (PCR) swab test.
The employee can commence work only after serving the SHN and testing negative for the coronavirus infection. If tested positive for Covid-19, the employee will undergo medical treatment.
The cost of the accommodation for the SHN, swab test and medical treatment if required, will be paid for by the employee or his employer.
Those returning to Singapore for short-term home leave after working for 90 days in Malaysia can apply for a waiver of SHN.
In lieu of SHN, the returnee will undergo a Covid-19 PCR test upon arrival at Woodlands Checkpoint or Tuas Checkpoint in Singapore, at his own cost.
Reciprocal green lane
This scheme allows short-term travel for essential business or official purposes between the two countries for up to 14 days.
Travellers who travel under the reciprocal green lane scheme can do so only at airports in Singapore and Malaysia which have available non-stop flight routes or at the land checkpoints.
Before the trip, travellers must get approval from the authorities of the country they intend to visit.
Travellers to Singapore must be sponsored by either a Singapore-based company or a government agency, which will file an application for a SafeTravel pass on behalf of the traveller. A new application must be made for each visit. Those visiting Malaysia must also obtain a MyTravelPass approval letter from the Malaysian government.
Travellers must also take other measures prior to arrival in Singapore or Malaysia.
This includes taking a Covid-19 PCR test at accredited laboratories within 72 hours of departure, and obtaining a certificate of having tested negative for Covid-19. This certificate must be presented in the country of arrival.
Another swab test will be done on the traveller upon his arrival.
After the swab test, travellers must stay in the earlier-declared accommodation until negative test results are released. Those who test positive for Covid-19 will undergo medical treatment at their own cost.
Those visiting Malaysia or Singapore under this scheme must also adhere to a controlled itinerary for the duration of their stay, and will not be allowed to use public transport, except for private-hire cars, taxis or company transport.
They must also download any contact tracing applications required by the local authorities to facilitate contact tracing. This refers to the TraceTogether app in Singapore, and the MySejahtera app in Malaysia.
More information on the schemes is available at this website.