The suspension will be in place starting from February 1 and may be extended if Malaysia’s Covid-19 cases continue to be high.
The Singapore’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) today released a statement saying that the country will be suspending the reciprocal green lane (RGL) or the agreed ‘travel bubble’ arrangement with Malaysia for three months. The suspension will start next Monday (1 February 2021) and also bars travellers from Germany and South Korea.
According to the statement by Singapore’s MFA, the Singapore government made the decision due to the resurgence of Covid-19 cases worldwide. As for whether the suspension would be extended, the government body said that a decision would only be made at the end of the suspension period. The statement reads,
“The Government of Singapore will review the Reciprocal Green Lane arrangements at the end of the suspension period. Travellers who have already been approved to enter Singapore under these Reciprocal Green Lanes can continue to do so,”
In case you didn’t know, the RGL arrangement is a scheme which allows residents of countries within the agreement to conduct short-term travel for essential business and official purposes in Singapore for up to 14 days. The scheme requires travellers to test negative for Covid-19 before they travel and undergo another test on arrival. Furthermore, they must remain isolated until test results are released and are required to follow a controlled itinerary for the duration of their stay.
However, do note that the travel suspension is only for RGL. Singapore and Malaysia have another cross-border travel arrangement called the Periodic Commuting Arrangement (PCA) whereby approved travellers from both countries must have stayed in their country of employment (Singaporean working in Malaysia and vice versa) for at least 90 days before returning home to their home country on a short-term leave.
Malaysia recorded the highest jump in daily Covid-19 cases yesterday at 5,725 new infections and will only start mass vaccination at the end of February. Let’s hope that our situation will get better sooner rather than later. As they say, the darkest hour is right before dawn.
In the meantime, let’s #KitaJagaKita and remember, #KitaSemuaAdalahFrontliner.