Malaysia, Singapore to Resume Cross-Border Travel on August 10

Two separate initiatives are being drawn up for business travelers and those with work-related long-term immigration passes.

Johor Bahru and the Johor–Singapore Causeway at dusk. (Photo: kokkai/iStock)

The Johor–Singapore Causeway has been largely devoid of traffic for the past few months, but with Covid-19 outbreaks well under control on both sides, Malaysia and Singapore are now looking to lift certain restrictions on cross-border travel. According to a joint statement released by Malaysian Foreign Affairs Minister Hishammuddin Hussein and his Singaporean counterpart Vivian Balakrishnan yesterday, their respective governments have agreed to implement two new schemes—the Reciprocal Green Lane and Periodic Commuting Arrangement—by the middle of next month.

The Reciprocal Green Lane will permit the resumption of essential business and official travel between the two countries, with those eligible subject to public health measures mutually agreed by the Malaysian and Singaporean governments. PCR swab tests will be necessary, and prospective travelers are required to give the relevant authorities a “controlled itinerary,” which they must adhere to during their visit.

Meanwhile, the Periodic Commuting Arrangement applies to Singapore and Malaysia residents who hold long-term immigration passes for work and business purposes in the other country. Under the scheme, they will be allowed to cross the border and return for short-term home leave after at least three consecutive months in their country of work. The next visit can only take place following another three months on the other side of the causeway.

The statement went on to say that standard operating procedures of both initiatives are still being finalized by officials, who are “working expeditiously” to make sure implementation occurs on the target date. Malaysia and Singapore will publish details on the requirements, health protocols, and application process for entry 10 days before the travel arrangements are rolled out. Further down the line, the two nations plan to hammer out a daily cross-border commuting proposal that will take into account health protocols and available medical resources to “ensure the safety of the citizens of both sides.”

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