M'sia & Indonesia agree to launch VTL

The date for the launch has yet to be announced.

Jean Chien Tay | November 11, 2021, 08:21 PM

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Malaysian Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob announced on Nov. 10 that Malaysia and Indonesia have agreed to launch a "Vaccinated Travel Lane (VTL)" to facilitate air travel between the two countries.

In a Facebook post, Ismail Sabri said that Malaysia has a high vaccination rate and high standard of Covid-19 prevention to ensure the smooth operation of the upcoming VTL, Bernama reported.

The 61-year-old added that 96 per cent of the adult population in Malaysia have received the vaccine.

As of Nov. 11, Malaysia's Ministry of Health reported that 95 per cent of the adult population have received two doses of the Covid-19 vaccine, while 97.5 per cent received at least one dose of the vaccine.

Ismail Sabri is currently on the third day of his three-day visit in Indonesia.

VTL for Kuala Lumpur, Jakarta, and Bali

Emerging from his "four-eye meeting" with Indonesian President Joko Widodo, also known as Jokowi, Ismail Sabri confirmed that the VTL will include two air travel routes between Malaysia and Indonesia.

Once implemented, travellers will be able to fly from Kuala Lumpur to Jakarta and Bali, and vice versa, according to the Malaysian politician.

According to Bernama, Ismail Sabri said Malaysians who wish to travel are required to complete two doses of the Covid-19 vaccine and undergo a swab test with negative results before their trip.

Travellers will be swabbed again upon their arrival in Indonesia, and can only leave a hotel quarantine if their test result is negative.

He further expressed his belief that Malaysia and Indonesia can strengthen their cooperation and mutual understanding.

Arrived on Nov. 9 for his three-day visit

Taking to Facebook, Ismail Sabri said he was given a warm welcome by Indonesia's Minister for Education, Culture, Research, and Techonology, Nadiem Anwar Makarim, upon his arrival on Nov. 9.

Nadiem is also the founder of Gojek, the first Indonesian company to hit US$10 billion in valuation, according to The Jakarta Post.

First visit to Indonesia as Malaysian prime minister

Subsequently, Ismail Sabri met with members of the Indonesian media industry, and lauded their "important role" in maintaining friendly Malaysia-Indonesia relations.

He said that the Indonesian media was the first group he met in his first visit to Indonesia in the capacity of Malaysia's prime minister.

"The relationship between Malaysia and Indonesia is very close due to bilateral and multilateral forums, and because both countries are of the same root", he said.

Top image via Ismail Sabri Yaakob/Facebook