Can I drive into Malaysia when it reopens its border from April 1?

The latest announcement by Malaysian authorities theoretically removes the cap on the number of Singapore travellers who can enter Malaysia. PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - Malaysia will reopen its borders to international visitors from April 1, allowing travellers who are fully vaccinated against Covid-19 to enter the country without quarantine.

Visitors will be required to undergo pre-departure tests (RT-PCR) and upon-arrival tests (RTK-Antigen under professional supervision) 24 hours after arrival.

This includes Singaporeans, who, like other visitors, will need to download the MySejahtera tracking application and fill up a pre-departure travel form to enter Malaysia.

What does this mean for travel between Singapore and Malaysia? The Straits Times has the answers.

Q: Can I currently travel to Malaysia without quarantine?

A: Yes, but this was already possible before Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob's announcement on Tuesday (March 8).

Singapore and Malaysia already have vaccinated travel lanes by air and land. By January, about 100,000 people had already entered Singapore using the lanes. Many more have also travelled to Malaysia.

Q: What does Malaysia's recent announcement mean? Can I return to Singapore, also quarantine free?

A: The latest announcement by Malaysian authorities theoretically removes the cap on the number of Singapore travellers who can enter Malaysia, from April 1. 

But the existing cap on the number of travellers who can enter Singapore quarantine-free remains for now. 

In effect, this means that while Singaporeans can travel to Malaysia without the previous Covid-19 restrictions, they may not be able to do so on the way home.

Singapore still maintains its decision to only let those travelling from Malaysia to be exempt from quarantine if they do so via the VTL scheme, which remains capped - at 4,320 both ways each day by bus, while the cap for air VTL for individual countries is not disclosed.

There is no cap on non-VTL flights. Those who do not use the VTL scheme will have to serve a seven-day stay home notice. 

Q: Can I drive into Malaysia from April 1?

A: Malaysia has not made clear its plans on whether the Causeway will be reopened for quarantine free entry to private drivers, with current arrangements before April 1 still subject to the land VTL scheme. Today, travellers can make the trip overland only if they book bus tickets on either Transtar or Causeway Link.

The Singapore authorities have also not made further announcements on the matter. Again, this means that even if people could drive from Singapore to Malaysia, they would not be able to drive their cars back to Singapore without having to serve a stay home notice.

Q: What are the current VTL rules to enter Singapore?

A: For land and air VTL, those in Malaysia must do a pre-departure polymerase chain reaction (PCR) or professionally administered Antigen Rapid Test (ART) within two days of their flight, and do a supervised self-administered ART at a test centre within 24 hours of arrival in Singapore.

Travellers must have stayed in Singapore, Malaysia or any other VTL or low infection country in the past seven days.

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