Singapore and Malaysia start accepting applications for cross-border travel

Commuters take the Woodlands Causeway to Singapore from Johor a day before Malaysia imposes a lockdown on travel due to the coronavirus outbreak in Singapore March 17, 2020. REUTERS/Edgar Su. Sketched by the Pan Pacific Agency.

SINGAPORE, May 2021, ST. Applications for travel on compassionate grounds between Singapore and Malaysia are now open, a week before the formal system of allowing such movement launches, The Straits Times reported.

From Monday (May 10), people from either country can apply for cross-border travel to visit family members for emergency reasons such as death or critical illness.

Only two visitors per case are allowed, said the Department of Immigration of Malaysia and the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) of Singapore.

Approved travellers to Singapore will be required to abide by the stipulated health measures for entry, including stay-home notice and Covid-19 tests.

“Our officers will facilitate arrangements for the travellers to make short and safe visits to the medical facility and/or funeral, subject to the prevailing health policies governing such visits,” said the ICA on its website.

Applications can be made on the website through an online inquiry form.

All applicants will need to provide documents such as proof of death of the immediate family member, a doctor’s letter to support critically ill cases, documents to prove familial connection and a copy of their passport biodata page.

Similarly, those here who want to visit family members in Malaysia will have to apply online on the Department of Immigration of Malaysia’s website and provide such documents.

They will also have to go through swab tests and may proceed with their travel arrangements if the test result is negative for Covid-19.

Earlier this month, Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan and his Malaysian counterpart Hishammuddin Hussein announced that travel on compassionate grounds between Singapore and Malaysia will be allowed from May 17.

Dr Balakrishnan had said then that the move was necessary due to the “extensive ties” that the two countries share.

Both countries are currently experiencing an increase in Covid-19 cases, and have stepped up measures to curtail the spread of the virus in their communities.

From last Saturday, Singapore tightened restrictions on social gatherings and events till June.

Malaysia on Monday banned all interstate and inter-district movement without permission from the police for four weeks till June 6.

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