Johor says users of Land VTL with Singapore rising steadily

·3-min read
A woman waits to board a bus at the Larkin Sentral Bus Terminal in Johor Baru November 29, 2021. — Bernama pic
A woman waits to board a bus at the Larkin Sentral Bus Terminal in Johor Baru November 29, 2021. — Bernama pic

JOHOR BARU, Dec 2 — The Johor government said the number of travellers using the Causeway between Malaysia and Singapore under the Land Vaccinated Travel Lane (VTL) has increased since the scheme was started this week.

Johor Public Works, Transportation and Infrastructure Committee chairman Mohd Solihan Badri said a total of 3,258 travellers have crossed the Causeway within the first three days of the Land VTL’s initiation.

He said the first day of the Land VTL saw 953 travellers arriving at the Larkin Sentral Transportation Terminal here from the Queen Street Terminal in Singapore, making up 66 per cent out of the maximum 1,440 allowed capacity on the first day.

“The figure of travellers from Singapore continued to increase on the second day, with a reported 1,037 or 72 per cent of the capacity.

“For yesterday (Wednesday), the figure stood at 1,269 travellers, which was 88 per cent of the capacity,” said Mohd Solihan in a statement issued here today.

However, Mohd Solihan noted that the figure for travellers entering Singapore from Johor Baru was low.

“For travellers using the Land VTL from Malaysia to Singapore, the first day recorded only 220 people, which is 15 per cent from the quota allowed.

“The second day recorded a lower figure with only 188 travellers or 13 per cent of the quota allowed, while on the third day the figure increased to 291 travellers or 20 per cent of the quota allowed,” said Mohd Solihan, who is also the Tenang assemblyman.

Under the current arrangement for the Land VTL, the travel route will only involve buses as a means of transportation with a daily quota not exceeding 1,500 travellers.

However, the government said other modes of land transportation would be added in stages, with the daily quota of travellers to be increased on a weekly basis.

Last week, the Prime Minister’s Office announced that both Malaysia and Singapore will simultaneously launch both Air and Land VTL between both countries on November 29.

Prior to that, Johor Mentri Besar Datuk Hasni Mohammad had on November 21 informed that a total of 1,440 individuals are expected to use the Land VTL route between Malaysia and Singapore which will be implemented simultaneously with the Air VTL on November 29.

The initiative is to facilitate quarantine-free, seamless cross-border movement integrating health protocols, security and immigration clearance.

Handal Indah, together with Transtar Travel, are the two bus companies authorised under the bilateral arrangement to ferry approved travellers across the Causeway and back.

Those allowed to take part in this scheme are Malaysian and Singaporean citizens and must be permanent residents as well as holders of Malaysia and Singapore Long-Term Passes.

Under the VTL, only 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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