Malaysians who are eager to find out whether the Vaccinated Travel Lane (VTL) by air between Malaysia and Singapore will continue to be postponed or resume will only know 48 hours before the postponement of the expiry date on Jan 21 next year.
Transport Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wee Ka Siong said if the VTL by air resumes on that date, total flight ticket sales would likely be reduced by up to 50 percent.
However, the decision lies with the Singapore government as they would assess the COVID-19 situation before making any announcement. The Republic decided to suspend VTL with Malaysia when it discovered spreads of Omicron the highly contagious variant of Covid 19. Of late the government had relaxed curbs in the city-state following reports of the virus being under control.
According to the Transport Minister, the VTL reopening is not entirely the Ministry’s call but also subject to the approval of the Ministry of International Trade and Industry as this is not within his jurisdiction.
The closure was also reinforced by Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin who announced that the sale of bus and flight tickets under the VTL between Malaysia and Singapore will be temporarily suspended from Dec 23 until Jan 20, 2022 and would reopen on Jan 21, 2022 after a risk assessment based on the current COVID-19 situation in both countries.
Khairy said the decision was made after taking into consideration a report of the Singapore Health Ministry after a local cluster of COVID-19 including the possibility of the Omicron variant, was detected.