Singapore govt unveils details of cross-border travel with Malaysia; maximum 14-day stay for essential business travellers

Applications for the green lane and commuting agreement will begin on Aug 10. — Reuters pic
Applications for the green lane and commuting agreement will begin on Aug 10. — Reuters pic

SINGAPORE, Aug 1 — Some five weeks after the leaders of Singapore and Malaysia agreed to set up special travel arrangements between both countries, the authorities here have announced details of the health requirements and application process.

Strict precautionary measures will be put in place before, during and after the visits, according to details put up on the Singapore Government’s SafeTravel website today. For instance, all travellers must be tested for Covid-19 upon arrival, among other things.

The portal will start accepting applications for the Reciprocal Green Lane (RGL) and the Periodic Commuting Arrangement (PCA) schemes from noon on Aug 10.

The RGL will allow travel between Singapore and Malaysia for “essential business and official purposes” up to a maximum of 14 days’ stay.

The PCA, which covers only land crossings, permits Singapore and Malaysia residents who hold long-term immigration passes for business and work purposes in the other country to enter that country for work.

After at least 90 days in their country of work, they may return to their home country for short-term home leave, and thereafter may re-enter their country of work to continue work for at least another 90 days.

Malaysian citizens and permanent residents with Singapore work passes entering the Republic under the PCA must serve a stay-home notice of at least seven days.

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and his Malaysian counterpart Muhyiddin Yassin had agreed in a telephone call on June 26 to establish the RGL and the PCA to address the different names of different groups of cross-border travellers from both sides. 

This was followed by a joint statement by Foreign Affairs Minister Vivian Balakrishnan and his counterpart Hishammuddin Hussein on July 14 that both countries have set Aug 10 as the target date for the start of both agreed schemes.

On Sunday, following a meeting between the two foreign ministers at the mid-way point of the Causeway, Dr Balakrishnan said both sides are not yet ready to allow commuting and that discussions on this are at least “a couple of weeks away”.

Below are some key details of the RGL and PCA. More detailed information can be found at the SafeTravel website.

Reciprocal green lane

Who is it for:

Residents of both countries making essential business and official trips.

Steps required for residents in Malaysia entering Singapore:

  • The Singapore company or government agency serving as the sponsor for the trip will apply for a safe travel pass on one’s behalf. Travellers without this pass will be refused entry.
  • Once the safe travel pass is approved, an approval letter will be sent to the sponsor.
  • The traveller can start applying for the necessary visa to enter Singapore, if required. Those who do not require a visa prior to the Covid-19 pandemic need not apply for a visa.
  • The traveller will have to submit pre-trip health and travel history declarations online and declare his or her accommodation on the arrival card before departing for Singapore.
  • They cannot travel out of Malaysia for 14 days before their departure.
  • They have to take a Covid-19 swab test, which they have to pay for, within 72 hours before their flight and be tested negative.
  • They have to produce the safe travel pass, a valid visa (if required) and the negative Covid-19 test result at the immigration to enter, otherwise they will be refused entry.
  • Once they enter Singapore, they can stay in the city-state for up to 14 days.

After arriving in Singapore:

  • The traveller has to undergo another Covid-19 swab test, which he or she will pay for, at the airport or land checkpoint upon arrival.
  • The sponsor organisation will transport the traveller directly from the airport or the land checkpoint to the accommodation.
  • He or she must remain in the declared accommodation until a negative result comes back from the Covid-19 swab test.
  • The traveller can then proceed with his or her itinerary that was declared beforehand.
  • The sponsor organisation is responsible for making sure the traveller sticks to the itinerary.
  • If the traveller tests positive for Covid-19, he or she will undergo medical treatment at his or her own cost.

While in Singapore, travellers have to:

  • Download and use the TraceTogether mobile application during their stay.
  • Use private hire cars, taxi or company transport. They cannot take public transportation.
  • Steps required for residents in Singapore entering Malaysia:
  • The Malaysian company or government agency serving as the sponsor for the trip will apply for a MyTravelPass on one’s behalf at least 10 days before departure.
  • The traveller cannot travel out of Singapore for at least 14 days before departure.
  • The traveller has to take a Covid-19 swab test within 72 hours before his or her flight and be tested negative.
  • Upon entry into Malaysia, they can stay in the country for up to 14 days.

After arriving in Malaysia:

  • The traveller has to undergo another Covid-19 swab test at the airport or land checkpoint upon arrival.
  • He or she must remain under isolation until the test results come back negative.
  • The traveller has to pay for the swab test and the accommodation.
  • Once test is negative, the host company or government agency will transport the traveller from his or her isolation accommodation to the workplace and back according to a controlled itinerary that was submitted to the authorities earlier.
  • While in Malaysia, travellers have to:
  • Download and use the MySejahtera contact tracing apps during their stay.
  • Use transport provided by the host organisation and not public transportation.

Periodic commuting arrangement

Who is it for:

Malaysian citizens or permanent residents with valid Singapore work passes entering Singapore via the Tuas and Woodlands checkpoint and vice versa.

Steps required for Malaysians to enter Singapore:

  • Employers of these Malaysian work pass holders will have to apply for a PCA on their behalf.
  • They must submit their applications at least seven days before their employees’ entry into Singapore.
  • Malaysian work pass holders have to undergo a Covid-19 swab test before the applications will be processed.
  • Their employers will receive an email if the application is successful and will also be notified of the results of the swab test.
  • The Malaysians have to complete a health declaration card online and download the TraceTogether, Homer and Whatsapp mobile applications.

After the PCA application is approved:

  • Malaysian work pass holders can enter Singapore with their own transport.
  • This can be private buses that only ferry Malaysian passengers who will be serving Stay-Home Notice (SHN), taxis and private hire cars or they can travel by foot to the accommodation where they will be serving their SHN.
  • They will only be permitted to leave the SHN accommodation to the testing facility for his or her Covid-19 swab test.
  • They are not allowed to take public buses or trains to go for the swab test. Only personal transport, company transport, or taxis/private-hire vehicles booked via dedicated hotlines are allowed.
  • They have to bring along their work pass and a copy of the Covid-19 swab test confirmation email or message to undergo the test. They have to return immediately to their SHN accommodation after.
  • They must serve their SHN for at least seven days from the date they enter Singapore and test negative for Covid-19.
  • Employers have to ensure their staff go for the swab test.
  • When the swab test results come back negative, these pass holders can start work. Otherwise, they will have to undergo medical treatment and the costs will be borne by either the employer or staff.

While in Singapore:

  • They have to stay in Singapore for at least 90 days before returning to Malaysia for home leave.
  • They will have to download the Homer mobile application and register their mobile number.
  • They will be allowed to use public transport after completing their SHN and testing negative for Covid-19.
  • Steps required for Singaporeans to enter Malaysia:
  • The SafeTravel website said that details on the application procedures and requirements for Singapore Citizens and permanent residents to enter Malaysia under the PCA can visit the Immigration Department of Malaysia’s website.

While in Malaysia:

  • They have to stay in Malaysia for at least 90 days before returning to Singapore for home leave.
  • When returning to Singapore:
  • Singapore residents who have Malaysia-issued PCA passes can apply to waive serving SHN if they are returning for short-term home leave after spending 90 days across the Causeway.
  • They will instead undergo a Covid-19 swab test upon arrival at Woodlands and Tuas checkpoints at their own cost.
  • Those who do not apply for the waiver will have to serve a 14-day SHN at home

— TODAY

Related Articles