If you’ve already taken advantage of the newly implemented VTL lanes that allow fully vaccinated travellers by air (From KLIA/klia2) or land (from Johor) into Singapore, quarantine free, the Covid-19 Omicron variant has stepped in. The Malaysian government has announced that Malaysia-Singapore VTL travel has been temporarily suspended.
Malaysia-Singapore VTL travel changes
The temporary suspension comes after Singapore detected a Covid-19 cluster involving the highly-transmissible Covid-19 Omicron variant of concern. Malaysia’s Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin announced the temporary suspension of ticket sales for travel between Singapore and Malaysia.
…. Airlines and bus operators in Malaysia are to temporarily stop selling travel tickets to Singapore under the Vaccinated Travel Lane (VTL) scheme starting tomorrow until January 20, 2022.
He added that
…. Ticket sales will restart on January 21, 2020 after risk assessments by both Malaysia and Singapore are done.
Practical result of the suspension
You may still travel to Singapore. However, even if you are fully vaccinated, your only option will be on a non-VTL service and you will be required to undergo Covid testing and fulfil the quarantine requirements. Malaysia and Singapore initiated the VTL programme for land and air travel on 29th November.
The Minister added that those who have already bought tickets can still travel into Singapore under the VTL scheme. However, they must meet the stipulated requirements. Travellers under the VTL initiative can forego mandatory quarantine, but are still required to undergo Covid-19 testing before and after arrival. He also flagged a possible reduction in VTL flights after 21st January.
We checked with various airlines to see
Jetstar – has already stopped selling those flights since the evening of 22nd December.
Malaysia Airlines – has as the best information, which mirrors the Ministry of Health statement. They note that customers can still book non-VTL flights, but will be subject to normal (non-VTL flight) travel and health requirements.
Customers with an existing confirmed booking on a VTL flights operated via Malaysia Airlines during this period and who have fulfilled the travel requirements under the VTL scheme will be allowed to continue with their travel plans.
Malindo Air does not have any seats for sale at all until 21st January, and these start from over RM1000.
AirAsia will contact all affected travellers using their contact details as per their bookings.