Singapore-Malaysia VTL: Are You Ready??

Singaporeans and Malaysians can now cross the border after the Vaccinated Travel Lane (VTL) launch on 29 November 2021. The long-awaited announcement was made recently, igniting the spark in the hearts of both country's citizens who have been cooped up in their respective countries since the borders were closed during the pandemic. The thought of crossing the border without having to quarantine is refreshing. Yeay to Nasi lemak Wak Kentut!! Rindu seh! I was thinking Johor at the moment. But I will plan for Kuala Lumpur next! 

 

 

Believe me, when I tell you, I quickly searched the topic up as soon as I heard about it and secretly planned my trip across the causeway in my head while googling. I believe a lot you have the same thought as I am. How? Let's go through the steps together, shall we? Easy. We will break it down to the method of travel. 

If you are thinking of travelling by bus, the first thing you have to do is ensure that you are eligible to travel. 

 

  • You must be a Singapore/Malaysian citizen, permanent resident or long-term pass holder.
  • You have to be fully vaccinated with an approved vaccine under Under the WHO Emergency Use Listing. 
  • A vaccinated adult must accompany unvaccinated children below 12 years old.
  • You must not have a travel history to any other country besides Singapore, Malaysia and/or other VTL countries in the last 14 days.

 

 

If you are eligible, then you can proceed to buy the tickets. Suppose you are planning to travel by bus. In that case, it is currently only valid for designated VTL bus trips between Malaysia and Singapore. There will be 64 VTL bus trips daily operated by the designated service provider in half-hour intervals from 7.30 am to 9.30 pm daily. Tickets will be released for sale 30 days in advance. You will have to purchase your ticket at least three days ahead of the date of travel.

Before coming to Malaysia, you must undergo a pre-departure professionally-administered Antigen Rapid Test (ART) or Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) test within two days before departure. Upon arrival in Malaysia, you will have to undergo another supervised Antigen Rapid Test (ART) at Larkin Sentral Bus Terminal after clearing immigration.

All travellers are also required to register at the MySafeTravel website. You will need to have a printed copy of your Vaccination Certificate with a QR Code and download the MySejahtera app onto your mobile phone to aid in contact tracing while in Malaysia.

Upon returning to Singapore, you must undergo a pre-departure professionally-administered ART or PCR test within two days before departure for Singapore at an accredited test centre. 

All travellers must also submit the SG Arrival Card with Electronic Health Declaration within three days before Singapore. This can be done via the ICA website or through the SG Arrival Card mobile application. And, we just received the latest news due to the Omicron variant; there'll be an additional on-arrival ART administered at the two designated arrival points - Queen Street Terminal and Woodlands Temporary Bus Interchange.

 

Test Required

Location

Pre-Departure Professionally-Administered ART/PCR Test (Within two days before Departure)

Singapore

On-Arrival ART (At Larkin Sentral Bus Terminal)

 

Malaysia

Pre-Departure Professionally-Administered ART/PCR Test (Within two days before Departure)

Malaysia

On-Arrival ART (At Queen Street Terminal or Woodlands Temporary Bus Interchange

Singapore

 

If you prefer to fly, you need to do these before flying:

Book your air tickets on designated VTL flights. You will also have an option to buy travel insurance if required. Short-term visitors must hold a return ticket and purchase travel insurance with a minimum of RM100,000 (S$32,500) with Covid-19 coverage for medical treatment or hospitalisation costs. Take a PCR test in Singapore within two days before departure to Malaysia. You will also have to register and pay for a Covid-19 test in KL to be taken on your arrival at Kuala Lumpur International Airport. And, of course, download the MySejahtera app for contact tracing purposes in Malaysia. 

 

 

Before your flight to KL, you should have these documents ready:

  • A valid passport
  • Valid vaccination certificate. 
  • Negative pre-departure Covid-19 test result
  • Mobile device with the MySejahtera app downloaded and profiles registered.
  • Short-term visitors to Malaysia will need to show their return ticket and visa (if required).
  • Travel insurance policy, either a physical or digital copy (short-term visitors to Malaysia only).
  • A proof of purchase of their travel insurance policy, either a physical or electronic copy (short-term visitors to Malaysia only).

 

Then we fly. When you arrive at Kuala Lumpur International Airport, go for the Covid-19 PCR test at BP Clinical Lab Health Screening Centre. You may go to immigration only upon receiving a negative test result. You should still have the same documents as you did at departure in Changi Airport with you.

Before returning to Singapore, take a Covid-19 ART or PCR test in Malaysia within two days before departure. That is, if you take a pre-departure test on 1 December, it will be valid for releases until 3 December, 11.59 pm. Go to one of the medical facilities in Malaysia recognised by MOH. Register and pre-pay for your on-arrival Covid-19 PCR test ($125) at Changi Airport. Submit the SG Arrival Card within three days before arriving in Singapore. 

Short-term visitors and long-term pass holders in Singapore will have to apply for a Vaccinated Travel Pass to re-enter Singapore. Applications must be submitted seven to 60 days before the intended date of entry into Singapore. You have to apply for a visa if required. You must download and register for a TraceTogether profile for short-term visitors.

Short-term visitors are also required to buy travel insurance with a minimum Covid-19 coverage of $30k.

At KLIA, before returning to Singapore, these are the documents you must have:

  • Valid Passport
  • Valid negative PCR or ART test result
  • Proof of vaccination
  • The physical or electronic copy of VTP (for short-term visitors and long-term pass holders)
  • For short-term visitors, visa (if required) and a mobile device with TraceTogether downloaded and profiles registered.

 

So when you arrive at Changi Airport in Singapore, get your PCR test done at Changi Airport.

Short-term visitors will have to activate the TraceTogether app on their device after clearing immigration. Then travel to your declared self-isolation accommodation after the test using private transport, taxi or private hire cars. Travelling on trains and buses is not allowed. Self-isolate at your place of residence to wait for your test result. You're released from isolation and can go about usual activities when you receive a negative result.

There might seem like a lot of work to get out of our country and travel to our neighbouring country, which we have the freedom to go in and out of it pre-covid. It involves process, documentation, time and money. But the ability to travel out brought a ray of light to our dampened spirits. I believe many of us are now used to the new normal, but it has been two years since we are locked up in our own countries, both Singaporeans and Malaysians. Some may have families in our neighbouring country. I remembered MyLustre's Eid video about a family of 3 separated by the borders of both countries where the husband works in Singapore and the wife and their toddler stays in Malaysia. Just imagine the pain of separation felt by them. I believe there are a lot more just like them. 

I am eager to get out and breathe the air of another country. To finally meet all the people I love and only meet them over video call sessions—tasting the food so familiar and missed. And, of course, just to get out.  

The announcement of this VTL may cause people to rush getting their tickets and covid test appointments. But as stated, there are limitations to the number of buses, flights and travellers daily. You know you have to be patient when making your plans and getting your tickets. So I think it's okay to wait for a while the situation is on heat. It is better to think about protecting ourselves before thinking about travelling, right? Let the heat cool down a bit, then make our moves. 

Happy planning, stay safe and take care, everybody!

 

 

 

References:

https://www.gov.sg/article/vaccinated-travel-lane-between-singapore-and-malaysia

Youtube: ICAOutreach

https://www.pmo.gov.sg/Newsroom/Singapore-and-Malaysia-to-launch-VTL-Land-Nov-2021

https://www.klook.com/en-SG/blog/singapore-malaysia-vtl-vaccinated-travel-lane/

https://www.todayonline.com/8days/liveandlearn/travel/malaysia-vtl-air-guide-entire-process-pcr-tests-documents-prepare-you


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