Malaysia, Singapore set to reopen borders to some tourists

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Malaysia and Singapore said on Wednesday they would partially reopen their borders to fully vaccinated citizens and some others next week, after nearly two years of closure due to the pandemic in the neighboring city-state. Many Malaysian workers were turned away from their families.

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The leaders of the two countries said limited travel across the land border would be allowed from Monday, with plans to gradually ease restrictions. Air travel will reopen on the same day for fully vaccinated passengers, allowing for quarantine-free travel between the two countries, with fewer restrictions.

According to separate statements by the leaders of the two governments, travelers to the Causeway Bridge that connects the island of Singapore to the Malaysian peninsula must be citizens, permanent residents or long-term pass holders. In the first phase, the number of passengers crossing the land border per day will be limited to 2,880 and they will be required to travel on specified bus services, the statement said.

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The Causeway was one of the busiest land borders in the world before the pandemic hit.

Singapore’s Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said the partial reopening would give priority to workers in any country who have not been able to visit their families since the land crossings were closed in March 2020.

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Lee said reopening the border “would be a huge step toward reconnecting our people and economies.” He said a second land link would also be restored later.

The land border crossing limits will be progressively relaxed to include general passengers and other modes of transport in addition to bus services, the statement said.

Passengers, except children aged two years and under, must test negative two days before entering Singapore and are required to register online before purchasing bus tickets. The governments stated that children 12 and under must be accompanied by a fully vaccinated parent or guardian.

Malaysian Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yacoub said with more than 95% of the adult population in both countries fully vaccinated, allowing both countries to reopen their land borders in a “gradual, safe, orderly and sustainable manner” Is.”

Before the closure of the Causeway, more than 350,000 people passed by daily, most of whom were working in Singapore due to the favorable exchange rate for Malaysians. Officials estimated that more than 100,000 Malaysians were trapped in the island-state after the border closed.

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Credit: www.independent.co.uk /

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