Johor says need at least two more weeks for additional Land VTL SOP after the rise of Omicron

Johor Mentri Besar Datuk Hasni Mohammad (3rd left) during the JohorPay application and Johor Project Monitoring System (JoMS) at the Thistle Hotel in Johor Baru December 2, 2021. — Picture by Ben Tan
Johor Mentri Besar Datuk Hasni Mohammad (3rd left) during the JohorPay application and Johor Project Monitoring System (JoMS) at the Thistle Hotel in Johor Baru December 2, 2021. — Picture by Ben Tan

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JOHOR BARU, Dec 2 — The Johor government said both Malaysia and Singapore will need about two weeks to a month to look into the need to implement additional or stringent standard operating procedure (SOP) for the Land Vaccinated Travel Lane (VTL) following the discovery of the new Covid-19 Omicron variant.

Johor Mentri Besar Datuk Hasni Mohammad said the additional or stringent SOPs will not in any way hamper the Land VTL initiative.

“The Land VTL between Malaysia and Singapore will carry on,” he said at the sidelines of the JohorPay application and Johor Project Monitoring System (JoMS) at the Thistle Hotel here today.

He assured the public that the Johor government will also identify the best solution to ensure that the Land VTL initiative will be improved in a controlled manner.

Earlier, Hasni said he attended an audience by Singapore Foreign Minister Dr Vivian Balakrishnan where he met Johor Ruler Sultan Ibrahim Iskandar here.

He said during the audience, Dr Vivian said there was no certainty that the Omicron variant would disrupt the smooth operation of the Land VTL between Malaysia and Singapore.

“The Land VTL is running well with a total number of travellers from the neighbouring country reaching almost 5,600 since Monday.

“However, we have to improve on SOPs if we want to increase the number of travellers,” said Hasni, adding that a more suitable SOP between both countries will be introduced if there are new issues arising from the Omicron variant.

Hasni, who is also the Benut assemblyman, said since the launch of the Land VTL on Monday, two Covid-19 cases have been detected.

He said this involved one traveller from Singapore, while the other was from Malaysia.

Under both the Land and Air VTL, fully vaccinated travellers can travel between Singapore and Malaysia but are subject to Covid-19 tests in lieu of serving quarantine or a stay-home notice.

Yesterday, Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin said travellers using the Malaysia-Singapore VTL by both air or land would be required to perform a Covid-19 self-test on the third and seventh day after their arrival due to the new Omicron variant.

He also said the results will have to be reported through the MySejahtera app.

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