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COVID-19: Singapore and Malaysia to set up green lane for cross-border travel

According to a statement released by Singapore’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA), a reciprocal green lane (RGL) will be established between Singapore and Malaysia to allow cross-border travel arrangements for essential business and travel arrangements.

A set of COVID-19 prevention and public health measures will be implemented for travellers to adhere to. These measures are currently under discussion, and will have to be agreed upon by both countries. The protocols are intended to preserve the public health and safety of citizens of both countries, while also taking into account the availability of medical resources on both sides.  

The statement, dated 27 June 2020, follows a telephone call between Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and Malaysian Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin. 

In the call, Prime Minister Lee and Prime Minister Muhyiddin agreed upon the establishment of both the RGL, as well as a Periodic Commuting Arrangement (PCA) which would allow residents of both Singapore and Malaysia with long-term immigration passes to return periodically to their home countries for short-term home leave. 

They will be able to return home for leave after a period of at least three consecutive months spent in their country of work, and will also be able to re-enter their country of work after their home leave period.

(Related story: Foreigners To Pay For Mandatory COVID-19 Quarantine After Entering Malaysia From June 1)

During the discussion, Prime Minister Lee reiterated Singapore’s commitment to address the needs of both Singapore and Malaysia residents who had commuting arrangements prior to the coronavirus pandemic and the resulting border restrictions.

Both Singaporean and Malaysian officials have been tasked by Prime Minister Lee and Prime Minister Muhyiddin to work on the operational details of the RGL and PCA, and continue talks on other proposals related to the gradual facilitation of cross-border movement.

As Singapore and Malaysia work to transition to a new normal, we can expect that resuming businesses and activities as per pre-outbreak will take time and serious restructuring of policies.

(Related story: Phase 2 FAQ: What Drivers Can And Cannot Do)

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