Fully vaccinated travellers can fly between Singapore and Malaysia via the vaccinated travel lane (VTL) established between Changi Airport and Kuala Lumpur International Airport from Nov. 29, 2021.
But the cost of taking the Covid-19 tests in Singapore and Malaysia for the round-trip, at almost S$500 in total, is prohibitively high and off-putting for many travellers looking for a short getaway.
The costs of the tests alone is some four times the price of the two-way plane tickets, which start from as low as S$130 on AirAsia.
China Press first reported on Nov. 20 that a two-way trip over this coming December 2021 year-end period and in early January 2022 costs S$1,000 in total -- if the most expensive plane tickets available, about S$450 via Scoot -- are factored in.
Those making plans to fly will need to also take into account insurance coverage as well, which costs some S$30 or more.
Here's a breakdown of the estimated S$475 costs for PCR tests alone for the Singapore and Malaysia legs of the trip:
PCR test before takeoff from Singapore: S$120
PCR test upon arrival for non-Malaysians: RM350 (S$113.80)
PCR test before takeoff from KL: RM250 (S$81.30)
PCR test upon arrival in Singapore: S$160 previously but lowered to S$125
There are six airlines designated for the Singapore-Malaysia quarantine-free air travel scheme that kicks off on Nov. 29: AirAsia, Jetstar Asia, Malaysia Airlines, Malindo Air, Scoot and Singapore Airlines.
Applications for the Singapore-Malaysia Vaccinated Travel Lane (VTL) scheme started from Nov. 22, but went down due to high volume.
Long-term pass holders and short-term visitors looking to enter Singapore can apply for a pass from 10am on Nov. 22.
Singapore citizens, permanent residents and children under the age of 12 do not have to apply.
Passengers will have to be fully vaccinated against Covid-19, but children under 12 years old will qualify without the need to show proof of vaccination.
Under the scheme, travellers landing in Changi Airport will have to self-isolate after leaving the airport and wait up till 24 hours for the results from their Covid-19 on arrival polymerase chain reaction (PCR) swab test.
Those landing in KL International Airport will likely be able to get their swab test results within one to three hours and wait for it at a designated waiting area before immigration.
Travellers entering Singapore under the VTL scheme do not have to serve a stay-home notice.
They will only be required to test negative for Covid-19 two days prior to departure for Singapore, as well as upon arrival.
Travellers can submit either a negative test result from either a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) swab test or a professionally administered antigen rapid test (ART).
They can go about their activities in Singapore if they test negative.
Travellers to KL will have to download and register their particulars with the MySejahtera app and pay for the PCR test at airport.doctor2u.my.
Top photo via Google Maps
Follow and listen to our podcast here