M'sian transport minister: Decision on S'pore-M'sia air VTL will be announced within 48 hours ahead of Jan. 21, 2022

The number of VTL flight tickets may be reduced by up to 50 per cent if the VTL is resumed.

Jean Chien Tay | December 31, 2021, 02:26 PM

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Malaysian transport minister Wee Ka Siong said on Dec. 30 that the decision on whether to resume or postpone the air Vaccinated Travel Lane (VTL) between Singapore and Malaysia will be made within 48 hours before Jan. 21, 2022, Bernama reported.

Wee said the number of VTL flight tickets will likely be reduced by up to 50 per cent if the air VTL resumes on Jan. 21 next year (2022).

The 53-year-old added that the decision will depend on the Singapore government's assessment of the Covid-19 situation following the spread of the Omicron variant.

Previously on Dec. 22, Singapore announced the decision to freeze sales of new VTL land and flight tickets into the country from Dec. 23, 2021, to Jan. 20, 2022, while Malaysia said their airline and bus operators will stop selling tickets to Singapore under the VTL during the same period.

Travellers who have bought their VTL tickets will still be allowed to travel during this period.

Limit Singapore's exposure to Omicron

Singapore's Ministry of Health (MOH) previously said the temporary halt is to limit the country's exposure to imported Omicron cases.

As of Dec. 30, the country reported 311 new Covid-19 cases, of which 103 were Omicron cases. Out of the 103 cases, 70 were imported cases, while the remaining 33 were local cases.

MOH said on Dec. 21 that the first suspected Omicron cluster was detected at the Anytime Fitness Gym in Bukit Timah Shopping Centre. The cluster consisted of three cases.

The gym was ordered to close for 10 days from Dec. 22 after Sport Singapore (Sport SG) found that it had not adhered to Covid-19 safe management measures.

Land VTL is up to another ministry

Speaking at a press conference, Wee said he had a discussion with Singapore's Minister of Transport S Iswaran on Dec. 21, where he was told about Singapore's decision to postpone the VTL rather than cancel it, Bernama reported.

As for the land VTL, Wee said the matter was not under his jurisdiction and will be up to the Malaysian Ministry of International Trade and Industry to decide.

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