After almost two years, the close neighbors of Malaysia and Singapore will soon reopen their borders to one another, allowing for vaccinated visitors to freely cross between the two nations once more. A new vaccinated travel lane (VTL) between Malaysia and Singapore will open on 29 November ahead of the holiday season. This will allow cross-border workers to finally return home after being stranded in their host countries.

According to a Facebook post by Singapore’s Prime Minister, Lee Hsien Loong: “Singapore and Malaysia are finally able to restart cross-border air travel through the Vaccinated Travel Lane (VTL).”

Lee attributed the decision to the progress both nations have made in vaccinating their population and managing the pandemic. Both nations have made commendable efforts in the fight against Covid-19. Both countries were able to maintain a relatively low number of infections in the early days of the pandemic. However, both nations experienced a massive spike in cases in 2021, leading to more stricter restrictions and guidelines to curb infection rates.

According to Lee, the decision to reopen borders will be essential to revive the economies of both nations, restore connections, and strengthen decades of bilateral partnership. The VTL will take place between Changi Airport and Kuala Lumpur International Airport, where at least six flights will operate daily. Fully vaccinated travelers will be allowed travel between both nations once the air route is launched. In addition to this, travelers may choose to undergo Covid-19 testing upon arrival instead of undergoing quarantine.

As mentioned previously, the resumption of travel between Malaysia and Singapore will come ahead of the holiday season, allowing fully vaccinated workers to return home; some of whom may not have been home since the pandemic started. The two nations intend for this first VTL to be a test bed for further experimentation before expanding on it later based on the results. Should the VTL prove fruitful, Lee said that more considerations for a VTL between Singapore and the Malaysian state of Johor would be considered.


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