S'pore and Malaysia start accepting applications for cross-border travel on compassionate grounds

Approved travellers to Singapore will be required to abide by the stipulated health measures for entry. ST PHOTO: ALPHONSUS CHERN

SINGAPORE - Applications for travel on compassionate grounds between Singapore and Malaysia are now open, a week before the formal system of allowing such movement launches.

From Monday (May 10), people from either country can apply for cross-border travel to visit family members for emergency reasons such as death or critical illness.

Only two visitors per case are allowed, said the Department of Immigration of Malaysia and the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) of Singapore.

Approved travellers to Singapore will be required to abide by the stipulated health measures for entry, including stay-home notice and Covid-19 tests.

"Our officers will facilitate arrangements for the travellers to make short and safe visits to the medical facility and/or funeral, subject to the prevailing health policies governing such visits," said the ICA on its website.

Applications can be made on the website through an online inquiry form.

All applicants will need to provide documents such as proof of death of the immediate family member, a doctor's letter to support critically ill cases, documents to prove familial connection and a copy of their passport biodata page.

Similarly, those here who want to visit family members in Malaysia will have to apply online on the Department of Immigration of Malaysia's website and provide such documents.

They will also have to go through swab tests and may proceed with their travel arrangements if the test result is negative for Covid-19.

Earlier this month, Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan and his Malaysian counterpart Hishammuddin Hussein announced that travel on compassionate grounds between Singapore and Malaysia will be allowed from May 17.

Dr Balakrishnan had said then that the move was necessary due to the "extensive ties" that the two countries share.

Both countries are currently experiencing an increase in Covid-19 cases, and have stepped up measures to curtail the spread of the virus in their communities.

From last Saturday, Singapore tightened restrictions on social gatherings and events till May 30.

Malaysia on Monday banned all interstate and inter-district movement without permission from the police for four weeks till June 6.

Its Health Ministry also announced on Monday that all travellers from Singapore arriving in Malaysia must undergo a mandatory 14-day quarantine instead of the previous 10-day period from Thursday. The Malaysian government is also suspending the Malaysia-Singapore Reciprocal Green Lane.

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