Coronavirus outbreak

Coronavirus: New curbs won't affect Malaysians, citizens entering Singapore via land, sea

Temperature checks on a bus at Woodlands Checkpoint. The exemption from restrictions on Asean states means workers who commute daily between Singapore and Malaysia can still do so.
Temperature checks on a bus at Woodlands Checkpoint. The exemption from restrictions on Asean states means workers who commute daily between Singapore and Malaysia can still do so. ST PHOTO: NG SOR LUAN
ST PHOTO: NG SOR LUAN Temperature checks on a bus at Woodlands Checkpoint. The exemption from restrictions on Asean states means workers who commute daily between Singapore and Malaysia can still do so. ST PHOTO: NG SOR LUAN
Minister For National Development Lawrence Wong.ST PHOTO: NG SOR LUAN

Separate arrangements for precautions being worked out by bilateral joint working group

Singaporeans and Malaysians travelling into Singapore from Malaysia via land or sea will be exempted from the new border restrictions on Asean countries, due to the close proximity and high inter-dependency between the two neighbours.

But separate arrangements for precautions are being worked out by a bilateral joint working group, Minister for National Development Lawrence Wong said yesterday.

Trade and Industry Minister Chan Chun Sing said in a Facebook post that the exemption means workers who commute daily between Singapore and Malaysia can still do so.

He added: "The latest restrictions will also not have an impact on the supply of food and other essentials between Singapore and Malaysia as drivers of goods vehicles will be able to enter as per normal."

The Ministry of Health yesterday announced that from 11.59pm today, all travellers - including Singapore citizens, permanent residents, long-term pass holders and short-term visitors - entering Singapore with recent travel history to Asean countries, Japan, Switzerland or the United Kingdom within the last 14 days will be issued a 14-day stay-home notice.

But Mr Wong, who co-chairs the multi-ministry task force tackling the coronavirus outbreak, said such restrictions on those coming in from Malaysia would be complex.

He noted that 300,000 people move across the land crossings at the Woodlands and Tuas checkpoints alone on a daily basis.

"We do have to put in place some special considerations for Malaysia because of the close proximity and the high inter-dependency between our two countries," he said.

"So for now, the arrangements which I just described will not apply to our sea and land crossings with Malaysia."

Malaysia reported 190 new coronavirus cases yesterday, with most linked to a religious event attended by over 10,000 people from several countries. This brings the total number of infections in Malaysia to 428.

HIGH INTER-DEPENDENCY

We do have to put in place some special considerations for Malaysia because of the close proximity and the high inter-dependency between our two countries.

MINISTER FOR NATIONAL DEVELOPMENT LAWRENCE WONG, on arrangements being worked out for Singaporeans and Malaysians who commute via land or sea.

Mr Wong added: "We want precautions to be taken there, and so separate arrangements are being worked out by the bilateral joint working group we have with Malaysia."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 16, 2020, with the headline 'New curbs won't affect Malaysians, citizens entering S'pore via land, sea'. Print Edition | Subscribe