Singapore-Malaysia air VTL: Workers look forward to reunion but travel cost a hurdle for some

Prakash won’t want to wait for too lengthy. Last Saturday, Singapore’s Trade and Industry Minister Gan Kim Yong stated that he was “optimistic” that the land border between Singapore and Malaysia would give you the option to be opened by the tip of November, and that particulars had been nonetheless being labored out.  Mr Gan additionally stated that it could be “possible” the land VTL is launched “on the same day” because the air VTL.  On Tuesday, Malaysian Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin stated that a dry run for the land VTL was held on the Johor Causeway. This can also be welcome information for one other Malaysian working in Singapore, Muhammad Yani Hussein. He advised CNA that he was excited when he first heard concerning the air VTL, but was delay by the air ticket costs. “Maybe I was too slow in buying the tickets, but now the prices to go back in December are too high. I will wait and see, perhaps postpone my trip to next year when prices drop,” he stated.  Muhammad Yani added that he’s now awaiting information on the land VTL protocols, in order that he can travel into Malaysia through the land checkpoints earlier than taking a bus to his hometown in Perak. 


Besides the cost of air tickets, travellers utilizing the air VTL should additionally take into account prices for COVID-19 swab checks.  Under the VTL, travellers are required to take 4 COVID-19 swab checks in complete throughout a spherical journey.  They would wish to produce a destructive COVID-19 polymerase chain response (PCR) or antigen speedy take a look at (ART) take a look at end result inside 48 hours prior to departure. There can also be a want to bear a PCR take a look at upon arrival, for every leg of the journey. A pre-departure ART take a look at might cost between S$30 and S$50 whereas a PCR take a look at prices between round S$100 and S$200. Meanwhile, a PCR take a look at on arrival in KLIA prices RM150 (S$48.80) for Malaysians and RM250 (S$81.33) for foreigners. PCR checks on arrival at Singapore Changi Airport cost S$125.  In complete, a person traveller would wish to fork out between round S$240 and S$600 on COVID-19 swab checks alone. Wong, the Singaporean primarily based in Kuala Lumpur stated that “he had no choice” but to put aside some cash for this.  “At least they allow us to take the RTK-ART (RTK- antigen rapid test) for the pre-departure flight (instead of PCR), so it lowers the cost a bit,” he added.  Prakash, the bus driver who’s awaiting updates on the land VTL, stated that he has put aside S$500 for the swab checks. However, he hoped that the authorities in each nations might take into account subsidising the prices additional. He stated that the cost of the PCR checks on arrival in each nations are “very high”. “If the price is lower, a lot of workers can benefit,” he stated.  Vasudevan, the nurse, stated that he and his spouse have put aside S$1,000 for air tickets and COVID-19 swab checks for their spherical journey to Negeri Sembilan  “The amount we have to fork out is still less than what we needed to before the VTL scheme as we no longer have to pay for quarantine,” he stated.  “At the end of the day, all I care about is to spend quality time with my family.”

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