SINGAPORE, Sept 23 — Discussions on the reopening of border with Malaysia are ongoing, according to co-chairperson of Singapore’s Multi-ministry Taskforce on Covid-19, Lawrence Wong.
“We are continuing our discussions on all fronts whether it is daily commuting or the expansion of the Periodic Commuting Arrangement (PCA) as well as the Reciprocal Green Lane (RGL) arrangement,” he said at a virtual press conference here today.
Wong was responding to a question on whether Singapore is looking at the same timeline as Malaysia on the full reopening of the border for daily commuters in January.
It was reported on September 11 that Malaysia’s Health Ministry is looking at the possibility of fully reopening the Malaysia-Singapore border for daily commuters in January.
Its minister Datuk Seri Dr Adham Baba also said the ministry was looking at doubling its capacity in swab tests for travellers under the RGL and PCA plans.
“These discussions are ongoing with our Malaysian counterpart and when we have a new update we will share them with everyone,” said Wong who is also the republic’s Minister for Education.
Meanwhile, as the number of community cases remained low, the Taskforce, among others, announced that it will ease measures to facilitate business operations, by supporting essential business travel.
The Taskforce said it is piloting a new business travel pass for senior executives in Singapore with regional or international responsibilities who need to travel regularly for official and business purposes.
Travellers on this pass will be required to abide by a strict controlled itinerary when they travel overseas for work, it said.
Upon return, the traveller will be given the option of doing a Covid-19 test in lieu of Stay-Home Notice (SHN) and self-isolate until the Covid-19 test results are out.
To ensure that it can carefully monitor the public health outcomes of this pilot, the Taskforce said, the number of passes will be strictly limited in the initial phase.
If the pilot is successful, and public health measures are fully abided by, the Taskforce will consider expanding the scheme in a safe and calibrated manner.
Overall, the number of new cases in the community here has remained stable at an average of one case per day in the past two weeks.
As of 12 noon today, the republic which is on second phase of reopening its economy and social activities, announced 12 new cases of Covid-19 infection including one in the community and four imported.
With the latest figures, the total number of cases here has reached 57,639.
Elsewhere, the Taskforce said it will enable more employees to return to the workplace and expand the capacity limits for worship services and wedding receptions. — Bernama