50% more bus tickets for quarantine-free travel between S'pore and JB from Dec 20

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SINGAPORE - It will be easier to go to Johor Baru next week, with a wider range of timings for the designated buses plying the route.

The two bus operators under the Vaccinated Travel Lane (VTL) scheme have said that they will be able to increase the number of tickets sold for quarantine-free travel between Singapore and Malaysia by 50 per cent when the expanded land VTL kicks in on Dec 20.

The moves come after Singapore's Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI) announced on Tuesday (Dec 14) that vaccinated Singapore citizens can enter Malaysia from next week via the Causeway, and vice versa.

Currently, only citizens, permanent residents and long-term pass holders of the country they are entering can travel via the land VTL.

One of the designated bus operators, Causeway Link, announced on Tuesday that it will operate 10 more services in each direction between Larkin Sentral in Johor Baru and Queen Street in Singapore.

The increased frequency will kick in from Dec 20. The operator currently operates 16 services in each direction daily.

Tickets have been available for purchase at the operator's website since 8am on Wednesday.

A spokesman for Causeway Link, which is also known as Handal Indah, told The Straits Times that its quota for tickets for land VTL travellers has been increased by 50 per cent.

Under current VTL rules, the two designated bus operators are allowed to each sell up to 1,440 tickets a day to people travelling between Malaysia and Singapore.

But from next week, Causeway Link said it will be able to sell 720 more tickets to accommodate the expected increase in demand.

The other operator, Singapore-based Transtar, said on its Facebook page on Wednesday that it will also be operating more services from Dec 20.

It is currently operating 16 buses in each direction between Woodlands and Larkin Sentral. From next week, it will provide eight more bus services daily in each direction.

The additional tickets will go on sale on Friday.

MTI did not provide specific details when asked on Tuesday whether the daily limit on land VTL travellers will be increased from Dec 20.

A spokesman said: "We are monitoring the demand for VTL (land) carefully, and will adjust and review the VTL (land) capacity accordingly, taking into account the public health situation in both countries."

All travellers entering Singapore will have to abide by the prevailing test protocols and safe management measures, said MTI.

For example, all travellers entering Singapore will have to undergo a seven-day Covid-19 antigen rapid test (ART) regime after arrival.

They have to take self-administered ARTs daily till the seventh day after their arrival. The tests on days three and seven have to be done at a testing centre.

Travellers entering Malaysia will be subject to a daily Covid-19 testing regime for six days, under the country's current rules.

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