As Malaysia and Singapore continue to ramp up Covid-19 vaccinations, many Malaysians working in Singapore are hoping that both governments will soon ease the travel restrictions between the two countries, especially for those who have been fully vaccinated, The Star reported.
With Singapore's vaccination rate hitting 50 per cent, many Malaysians in Singapore have either been fully vaccinated or received at least one dose of the vaccine.
They are calling for the Malaysian government to do away with the 14-day mandatory quarantine at a facility, for them to be able to return home and spend time with their family.
Total 28 days of quarantine and hefty charges
Since the border restrictions were put in place last March, hundreds and thousands of Malaysians that cross the border daily for work have been affected.
With current measures in place, one would have to be quarantined for 28 days in total, 14 days on either side of the border, at a designated facility.
The cost incurred could amount to almost S$3,000, including quarantine costs of RM2,200 (approx. S$730) in Malaysia and S$2,200 in Singapore.
Previously, Malaysians could leverage on the Periodic Commuting Arrangement (PCA) that only required them to serve a 7-day quarantine and undergo a swab test.
However, on May 13, Malaysia announced a 14-day quarantine for those entering the country from Singapore due to the spread of new Covid-19 variants, as per the Malay Mail.
Over 9,000 signatures petitioning for Malaysian government to ease quarantine measures
Recently, an online petition garnered over 9,000 signatures in the span of two weeks, calling for the ease of quarantine period for fully vaccinated Malaysians who are returning from Singapore.
Project manager Danny Tay, who started the online petition, said the response was beyond his expectations, as he did not expect his petition to garner so many signatures.
He believes that the stricter measures have also affected those who have lost their jobs, and Singaporeans who have family in Malaysia, who have been "separated from their loved ones".
He also said that it would be "very stressful" and "not fair" to ask Malaysians who have lost their jobs to pay for the 14-day quarantine upon return.
Tay hopes that the Malaysian government will consider substituting the current measures with a one-day quarantine and a PCR test.
The 43-year-old has since received both doses of the Covid-19 vaccine and says he misses his family, especially his 10-year-old son in Kuala Lumpur.
Top image via Hannah Yeoh's FB page & Creative Commons