With Malaysia currently affected by the spike in Covid-19 cases due to the easily transmitted Omicron variant, authorities seem reluctant to expand the Vaccinated Travel Lane (VTL) facility from the current Malaysia-Singapore connection. The announcement of a VTL arrangement with Brunei on 16th February does not bring much comfort as there are limited flights. After all, this small country is hardly a major tourism or business destination and prior to Covid-19, Brunei connected directly with only 18 countries.
Vaccinated Travel Lane facilities
Malaysia and Singapore initiated their VTL programme for land and air travel on 29th November 2021. However, following a rise in cases, ticket sales were temporarily suspended on 23rd December. VTL flights carried only those who already had tickets, until resumption of ticket sales in January, with the quota for bus and flight tickets reduced by 50% from previous levels.
The Malaysian Transport Ministry announced on 16th February 2022 that ticket sales for both land and air Malaysia-Singapore Vaccinated Travel Lane (VTL) access may resume with immediate effect. This decision is based on the latest Covid-19 risk assessment.
- no limits on capacity
- 100% capacity for both land and air travel
- bus travel may only resume from 22nd February
Discussions at senior level between the Malaysian and Singaporean Governments to expand the air VTL to include Penang and Kota Kinabalu, Sabah are proceeding at an advanced level. The Ministry is working with Malaysia Airports Holdings Berhad to prepare the necessary Covid-19 screening and other related facilities for these additional VTL initiatives.
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