Covid-19: Travel between Malaysia and Singapore to be known as early as Aug, says Foreign Ministry

Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein said the reopening of borders between Malaysia and Singapore is expected to be made known as early as next month. — AFP pic
Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein said the reopening of borders between Malaysia and Singapore is expected to be made known as early as next month. — AFP pic

KUALA LUMPUR, July 6 — The reopening of borders between Malaysia and Singapore is expected to be made known as early as next month, Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein said today.

Hishammuddin said ongoing discussions with his Singaporean counterparts consisted of proposed four travelling categories — Reciprocal Green Lane (RGL), Periodic Commuting Arrangement (PCA), citizens from both countries commuting daily and full border reopening.

“I am delighted to announce that negotiations for the first two categories went positively and the decision in regards to it is expected to be jointly announced by the Malaysian and Singaporean government early next month.

“Through this discussion, Malaysia has consistently emphasised on the interest of both countries in achieving a consensus in terms of standard operating procedures (SOP) and public health protocols for Covid-19,” he said in a statement.

Hishammuddin said the RGL is for essential business and official matters involving both countries while PCA enables Malaysian and Singaporean citizens holding long-term immigration passes (for business and worker purposes) to return home periodically for a short break.

Earlier today, Senior Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob said Malaysia’s special ministerial meeting on the movement control order had been discussing travel SOPs for the business community as an estimated 250,000 Malaysians cross the Causeway daily for work.

Hishammuddin said reopening the borders is not easy as the governments have to consider measures to curb Covid-19 can continue.

Hishammuddin also confirmed discussions were underway with six countries categorised as Covid-19 green zones in allowing international travels with exemptions.

The six Covid-19 green zone countries for conditional reopening of international borders were identified as Singapore, Brunei, New Zealand, Japan, Australia and South Korea.

Hishammuddin said the exemptions included those with official businesses, international students seeking to continue their studies and the importation of food supplies to neighbouring countries in South-east Asia.

“However, any decision in regards to the above exemption will only be finalised during the special ministerial meeting on the MCO and the Cabinet,” he said.

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