Many on both sides of the Causeway have been eagerly anticipating the Nov. 29 opening of the Vaccinated Travel Lane (VTL) between Malaysia and Singapore.
So much so that the SafeTravel website went down for maintenance on Nov. 23 after 35,000 users made a dash for it once the application window opened.
Missing the Causeway Link buses "day and night"
On Nov. 23, the excitement heightened as photos of buses in Malaysia and Singapore touting VTL signs caused quite a stir on social media.
A Facebook post showing a Causeway Link bus with the words "VTL" plastered on the front and sides greatly excited Facebook users.
The post was captioned with the statement "VTL buses are here!", and had garnered over 1,100 shares in four hours.
Those in the comments section expressed how "touched" they were at the sight, as others shared about how much they wished to return home.
Some users even affectionately referred to the bus as "小黄", which translates literally as "little yellow".
"Don't understand why I feel very touched when I see it... Before I took it for granted, but now I treasure it."
"Last time I always complained that the bus is slow, now when I see the bus, I'm exceptionally excited."
"Little yellow, do you miss me? Haven't seen you for two years, I miss you day and night."
"I was touched to see this, will anyone still complain S$15 is too expensive?"
Preparations in Singapore
The buses also apparently made an appearance at Woodlands Causeway.
Photos posted online showed a crowd of people including officials, as well as another bus with a VTL sign in the distance.
Additionally, the same user who posted the photos above shared a video of some "preparation" for a counter at Bugis selling tickets for travel between Singapore and Johor.
Dry-run of VTL conducted
The scenes that were witnessed were likely in preparation for the land-based VTL between Malaysia and Singapore.
A dry-run was conducted on Tuesday for the proposed opening of the VTL via the Causeway, Malaysian Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin revealed in a tweet.
Para pegawai dari Malaysia & Singapura sedang melaksanakan ‘dry run’ bagi cadangan pembukaan ‘Vaccinated Travel Lane’ melalui Tambak Johor. Pembukaan sempadan ini amat dinanti-nantikan oleh rakyat kedua-dua negara. Semoga berjaya. #ReopeningSafely pic.twitter.com/MiUw8Fn217— Khairy Jamaluddin 🇲🇾🌺 (@Khairykj) November 23, 2021
Minister for Trade and Industry Gan Kim Yong previously announced on Nov. 20 that the travel lane would be launched at the end of the month, or even on the same day as that for air travel, on Nov. 29.
However, details are still being firmed up, with Singapore government sharing more information soon.
Gan added that it is likely that only a limited number of people will be allowed to cross the border via the land link.
He emphasised that the current priority is to allow families who have been separated since the start of the pandemic to be reunited.
Chief Minister of Johor Hasni Mohammad previously claimed that the land link would be implemented from Nov. 29.
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Top photo from Anberasan Thangarajoo / FB