Malaysia, Singapore to open borders

The opening of borders between Singapore and Malaysia will facilitate the movement of essential business and official travellers in the wake of the Covid-19 outbreak. (Bernama pic)

PETALING JAYA: Singapore and Putrajaya have reached an agreement on reopening their borders to allow essential business and official travellers to commute across the causeway.

In a joint statement, Foreign Minister Hishammuddin Hussein and his Singaporean counterpart Vivian Balakrishnan said both governments had agreed to implement the Reciprocal Green Lane (RGL) and Periodic Commuting Arrangement (PCA).

They said the two countries would aim to implement the two travel schemes on Aug 10.

The RGL will allow travellers on essential business and official purposes, who will be swabbed upon entry and required to submit an itinerary for their visit.

Meanwhile, the PCA allows citizens with long-term immigration passes to enter either country for work purposes.

“After at least three consecutive months in their country of work, they may return to their home country for a short-term home leave, and thereafter re-enter their country of work to continue work for at least another three consecutive months.

“These travellers will also have to abide by the prevailing Covid-19 prevention and public health measures mutually agreed by both countries,” they said.

They added that details on the requirements, application processes and health protocols would be published 10 days before implementation.

They said both governments are developing other similar measures, including a daily commuting proposal for travellers on work purposes.

“This will allow both sides to progressively restore cross-border people-to-people interaction and economic exchanges.”

Balakrishnan previously said the city-state would take a step-by-step approach to reopening its border with Malaysia to minimise the risk of Covid-19 infections.

Putrajaya had announced that foreigners from green-zone countries could enter Malaysia subject to an agreement on SOPs with the countries in question.

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