Malaysia and Singapore have set 10 August as the target date to start cross-border travel between the two countries, subject to some conditions
According to New Straits Times, Foreign Affairs Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein and his Singaporean counterpart Dr Vivian Balakrishnan said that both governments have agreed to reopen the border after a four-month hiatus.
Both governments agreed on implementing two schemes - the Reciprocal Green Lane (RGL) and the Periodic Commuting Arrangement (PCA).
"These two schemes are meant to address the needs of different groups of cross-border travellers between both countries," they said in a joint statement yesterday, 14 July.
1. Basically, only people with business or work purposes in the other country may travel across for now
The Star reported that the RGL enables cross-border travel for essential business and official purposes between both countries.
Meanwhile, the PCA allows Malaysian and Singaporean residents who hold long-term immigration passes for business and work purposes in the other country to enter for work.
2. Travellers under the PCA scheme must stay at least three months in their respective country of work before being allowed to return home
Malaysians and Singaporeans can only return to their own country for a 'short-term home leave' after three consecutive months in their country of work.
"Thereafter, re-entry to their country of work, [they must] continue working for at least another three consecutive months," they said.
On the other hand, RGL travellers will have to submit a controlled itinerary to the relevant authorities of the receiving country and adhere to that itinerary during their visit.
3. All eligible travellers have to undergo a swab test for COVID-19 detection
The two ministers said that travellers would have to abide by the prevailing COVID-19 prevention and public health measures mutually agreed upon by both countries, which includes undergoing a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) swab test.
4. Both the governments have agreed to develop other appropriate schemes such as daily cross-border commute for work purposes and travellers soon
Hishammuddin and Vivian said they recognise the keen interest of residents in Malaysia and Singapore.
However, they have to take into account the required health protocols and available medical resources in both countries to ensure the safety of the citizens of both sides.
"This will allow both sides to progressively restore cross-border people-to-people interaction and economic exchanges."
More information will be published 10 days before the target implementation date
The full requirements, health protocols, and application process involved for entry and exit into Malaysia and Singapore will be published on 1 August.
"This will give the opportunity for the relevant agencies of both governments to continue their consultation to finalise the standard operating procedures (SOPs) of the two initiatives," said the ministers.
Singapore recorded 249 new COVID-19 cases today, 15 July, bringing its total number of cases to 46,878; while Malaysia recorded five new cases, bring the country's total to 8,734.