S'pore to offer Covid-19 vaccination to cargo drivers ferrying essential goods from Malaysia

This will be done in order to minimise the risk of transmission from workers who transport essential goods to Singapore.
This will be done in order to minimise the risk of transmission from workers who transport essential goods to Singapore.PHOTO: SHIN MIN DAILY NEWS

SINGAPORE - Some cargo vehicle drivers who regularly come into Singapore from Malaysia will be offered Covid-19 vaccination by the Republic from later this month.

This will be done in order to minimise the risk of transmission from workers who transport essential goods to Singapore, the Ministry of Health (MOH) said on Monday (March 8).

"Vaccination will provide an additional layer of protection against Covid-19, ensuring that these personnel can continue to deliver essential goods to Singapore safely," it added.

The MOH said that those who are not vaccinated may continue to enter, subject to the prevailing infection control measures such as on-arrival testing and corresponding safe management measures.

The Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI) said in response to queries that it will select eligible cargo drivers and accompanying personnel based on their frequency of travel between Singapore and Malaysia.

Those selected will be notified via a personalised SMS.

They will be given details of the vaccination locations upon scheduling their vaccination appointments.

"The vaccination sites will be located near the land checkpoints for easy access," added the MTI.

It had announced in late January that a compulsory Covid-19 antigen rapid test would be progressively rolled out for cargo drivers entering Singapore at land checkpoints. It said then that drivers arriving at the Woodlands and Tuas checkpoints would be randomly tested initially, before testing is expanded to cover all cargo drivers and accompanying personnel.

The new requirement was in line with Singapore's strengthened border controls, which require all travellers to take Covid-19 tests upon arrival to manage the growing risk of imported cases.

Mr Novan Hing, president of the Johor Trucking Association, which represents lorry operators within the state of Johor, told The Straits Times on Monday that he was pleasantly surprised by the move to offer drivers from Malaysia the Covid-19 vaccine.

He said: "It will be a good effort to reduce the risk of infection and spread of Covid-19. We should welcome it. We believe there will be more drivers who are accepting of the vaccine than those who are sceptical."