Singapore, Malaysia agree on cross-border travel scheme

The travel arrangement that is set to start on May 17 will facilitate trips for compassionate reasons, such as death or critical illness.

View over the wing of an aeroplane.
Singapore and Malaysia have announced a cross-border travel scheme, citing the extensive ties between the two nations. Picture: Joshua_Willson from Pixabay

CAPE TOWN, May 03 (ANA) – Singapore and Malaysia announced a cross-border travel scheme between the two nations during a joint press briefing in Singapore on Sunday.

According to Channel NewsAsia (CNA), a Singapore-based broadcaster, the travel arrangement that is set to start on May 17 will facilitate trips for compassionate reasons, such as death or critical illness.

Singapore’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Vivian Balakrishnan said he agreed with his Malaysian counterpart, Hishammuddin Hussein, that a safe travel scheme was necessary due to the extensive ties between Malaysia and Singapore.

“Parents, grandparents, uncles, aunties, cousins, and when family crisis occurs, people want to get together, and therefore, bearing in mind this very special close relationship between the people of Singapore and the people of Malaysia, it is necessary to have schemes like this,” said Balakrishnan.

“We will announce further details on the types of tests and quarantine arrangements that will be necessary in order to operationalise this scheme,” he said.

Hussein, who was on a two-day official visit to Singapore, added that the two leaders discussed the recognition of digital vaccine certificates to facilitate the cross-border travel.

The Straits Times reported that the two nations have had previous cross-border travels to help deal with the effects of the pandemic, which includes the Reciprocal Green Lane (RGL) and Periodic Commuting Arrangement (PCA) travel schemes.

The RGL allows for travel up to 14 days and applies to essential business or official travellers. It requires a strict and controlled itinerary. Under the PCA, approved travellers must remain for at least 90 days in the country of their employment before returning to their home country.

– African News Agency (ANA); Editing by Yaron Blecher

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