10 Must-Know Facts About the Land VTL Between JB & SG That’s Now Confirmed to Start on 29 Nov

Since 18 March 2020, one of the busiest roads in the world has been so quiet that no one would be shocked to see spider webs there.

But come 29 November, that’s going to change.

In the last few days, we’ve been teased again and again on the opening of the land vaccinated travel lane (land VTL) between Singapore and Malaysia, and today, it’s finally confirmed.

Before you send your car for servicing for a long drive to Malacca for chicken rice balls, hold your horses, and read everything here first.

Starting Date: 29 November 2021

Well, let’s get this out of the way: the land VTL will start on 29 November 2021, and it’s a Monday.

This means the causeway would’ve been pretty empty for 621 days, or about 1 year 8 months.

But not everyone can apply for the land VTL.

Only for People “Going Back” to Their Countries

If you’re a Singaporean heading to JB for seafood, this isn’t for you.

To enter Malaysia, you need to be a citizen, permanent resident or long-term pass holder of the country you’re going. This effectively means that day trips for cheap seafood aren’t the goal here.

Instead, it’s for people who’ve been stuck in either Singapore or Malaysia due to the borders closure.

For example, Person A is a Malaysian who’s has been working in Singapore since Malaysia closed its borders, so Person A can go to Malaysia (as a citizen in Malaysia) and also head back to Singapore (as a long-term pass holder in Singapore).

There are now over 100,000 Malaysians  working here in Singapore despite the border restrictions, so simply put, this is for them.

Will Gradually Include Everyone

This is just the beginning: gradually, the scheme could be progressively expanded to general travellers (i.e. you and I who just want to buy some cheap groceries and chewing gums), but that’ll depend on the public health situation in both countries.

Limit of 1,440 People Per Country

Earlier, Johor Chief Minister said that the limit would be 1,440 people per week, but it turns out that it’s 1,440 people per day from each side.

This means the limit is currently 2,880 for both sides every day.

People Can Only Travel Via VTL Buses

As projected, people can only travel to each country through 64 VTL bus services, with 32 from each side.

And you no longer need to squeeze in the bus: there are a maximum capacity of 45 “fully seated” passengers per trip.

If you insist on driving or even walking in, you would still need to serve your quarantine.

Bus services are available from 7.30am to 9.30pm every day, and read this ten times aloud: it’s NOT at Kranji MRT Station.

Instead, the terminals for Singapore are Woodlands temporary bus interchange and Queen Street Terminal. The one in Woodlands is by Transtar Travel  while the one from Queen Street Terminal is run by Handal Indah (yay, the familiar Causeway Link). Both services will end at Larkin Sentral bus terminal.

However, unlike pre-COVID-19 buses, the prices are a lot higher: it’ll cost $15 for an adult to travel from Singapore to Malaysia, and RM20 for a trip from Malaysia to Singapore. A child’s ticket will be $8 and RM10 respectively.

At least you’d get a seat.

Buying the Tickets

Unlike the good old days, you can’t just head to Kranji MRT Station and queue up for hours to head up north.

Instead, you’d need to buy the bus tickets online, which will go on sale tomorrow (25 Nov) at 8am from Transtar Travel’s website or Causeway Link’s website.

You can buy the tickets 30 days in advance, and you must have bought the tickets three days in advance before departure. So plan well; it’s very, very different from what we used to do.

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Only Causeway at Woodlands Will Be Open for VTL

Currently, only the causeway is open for land VTL travel, but the authorities are working on VTL travel at the second link, too.

Now, to the pressing question: how many tests are needed?

COVID-19 Tests Required

This depends on whether you’re entering Singapore or Malaysia.

If you’re entering Singapore, you just need one test: a pre-departure polymerase chain reaction or professionally administered antigen rapid test (ART) two calendar days before you enter Singapore.

If you’re entering Malaysia, the same rules apply, but you’d to do an additional supervised on-arrival ART at Larkin Sentral bus terminal.

Only children below two years old need not be tested.

Things to Do and Bring When Travelling to Singapore

Well, for a start, you need to be fully vaccinated. The “V” doesn’t stand for “Very”, my dear.

Before that, you’d also need to submit an electronic health declaration via the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority website via your SG arrival card or through the SG arrival card mobile application.

Do note that this must be done three days before you depart.

If you’re a Malaysian holding a long-term Singapore pass, you’d also need to apply for a vaccinated travel pass on the SafeTravel website at least three days before arriving in Singapore.

PM Lee’s Statement

Unlike other VTLs, PM Lee is vastly interested in the VTLs between Singapore and Malaysia, as it shows in his Facebook posts.

This time, instead of posting himself on the phone, he posted a useful infographic on the documents required for the land VTL, and said that he’s “very glad that Singapore and Malaysia will be reopening our land borders this coming Monday, 29 November.”

For more information about the land VTL, check out the SafeTravel website.

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Featured Image: Facebook (Ministry of Trade & Industry & Teckchua Seah)