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Your 10-minute guide to the Malaysia-Singapore travel agreements

Your 10-minute guide to the Malaysia-Singapore travel agreements


Malaysians entering Singapore for essential business or official purposes would soon need a valid SafeTravel Pass, as part of the latest cross-border agreements between both countries. Similarly, Singapore residents entering Malaysia would need to have a valid MyTravel Pass, either applied for by the employer or a sponsoring enterprise/government agency.

These were agreed upon by Minister of Foreign Affairs, Malaysia, Dato' Seri Hishammuddin Hussein, and Singapore's Minister for Foreign Affairs, Dr Vivian Balakrishnan on 26 July (Sunday), and were revealed later in the week on 1 August (Saturday).

Under the agreements, details on the Reciprocal Green Lane (RGL) and Periodic Commuting Arrangement (PCA) include requirements for entry, duration of stay allowed, COVID-19 test protocols. 

The respective requirements are summarised below.

Reciprocal Green Lane: For essential business and official travel via air or land

Travel from Malaysia to Singapore

According to Singapore's Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA), essential business and official travel will be allowed for up to 14 days under the Reciprocal Green Lane (RGL). The RGL is only applicable for travel between airports in both countries with non-stop flight routes, as well as land checkpoints.

Those travelling for the above purposes must be sponsored by either a Singapore-based company or a Singapore Government agency, which will file an application for the SafeTravel Pass on behalf of the applicant. Travellers without a valid SafeTravel pass will be refused entry into Singapore; details on visa requirements can be found here.  

Pre-departure and arrival measures

Prior to travelling to Singapore, approved SafeTravel Pass holders are required to do the following:

  • Monitor their health status prior to departure
  • Ensure they have not travelled out of Malaysia for the whole 14 days before departure.
  • Take a COVID-19 PCR test within 72 hours before departure, and be sure to obtain a certificate as proof of testing negative for COVID-19. This certificate mus be obtained by accredited laboratories by the Ministry of Health Malaysia.
  • The cost of the test will be borne by the SafeTravel Pass holder. 

Upon arrival into Singapore, the SafeTravel Pass holder will have to undergo a COVID-19 PCR test at the airport/land checkpoint, and will have to bear the costs.

  • The pass holder will also have to present a valid SafeTravel pass for the intended week of arrival, a valid visa (if needed), as well as the pre-departure COVID-19 test results. Those without these documents will be refused entry into Singapore.
  • Applicants who meet the prevailing entry requirements will be granted up to 14 days’ stay in Singapore.

Once cleared at the checkpoint, the traveller will be transported directly to the declared self-sourced accommodation, by the sponsoring company or Government agency. He/she must then remain there until their test results return negative. 

If tested positive for COVID-19, the traveller will undergo medical treatment at his/her own cost.

Measures to note during the stay in Singapore

SafeTravel Pass holders are required to download and use the TraceTogether application during their stay. In the event the pass holder does not have a compatible device, the host company or Government agency is to provide one for their use.

Additionally, these travellers must adhere to a controlled itinerary for the duration of their stay, and is prohibited from using public transportation, except for private-hire cars/taxis or company transport.

More information on the relevant requirements can be found here

Travel from Singapore to Malaysia

As shared by Malaysia's Immigration Department, all nationalities who are legally residents in Singapore will be allowed single-entry essential travel into the country under the RGL. These travellers will need to have a valid MyTravelPass, sponsored either by an enterprise or Government agency in Malaysia, who will have to apply for the pass at least 10 working days prior to departure.

Pre-departure and arrival measures

Prior to departure, the sponsor will have to present the traveller's certificate of a negative COVID-19 test result, taken within 72 hours before departure. The documents and information needed for the online application include:

  • A letter of invitation
  • Traveller's passport copy
  • Traveller's travel itinerary
  • Traveller's proof of hotel accommodation
  • Traveller's pre-trip health and travel history declaration
  • Traveller's controlled itinerary

Upon arrival in Malaysia, which is to be done either by land or air, the traveller will have to undergo a COVID-19 test either at the point-of-entry or within 24 hours of their arrival.

  • If tested positive, he/she will be promptly accorded the necessary medical treatment by the Government of Malaysia.
  • If tested negative, the sponsor will follow their controlled itinerary. The sponsoring agency will have to transport the traveller to the relevant non-residential accommodation. Following this, the traveller will need to be subscribed to the MySejahtera mobile application. 

Periodic Commuting Arrangement: For work and business-related travel via the Causeway or Second Link

Travel from Malaysia to Singapore

The Periodic Commuting Arrangement (PCA) is a scheme which will allow work and business-related travel between Singapore and Malaysia via the Johor-Singapore Causeway (Woodlands) and the Malaysia-Singapore Second Link (Tuas).

According to the ICA, under this scheme, Malaysia Citizens and Permanent Residents with valid Singapore work passes should remain in Singapore for at least 90 days before returning to Malaysia for home leave. 

For eligible travellers, the employer would have to submit a PCA application on their behalf beginning 10 August 2020, 12pm onwards. Employers may choose a date of entry within a 60-day window of their application. All applications will be processed on a first-come, first-served basis, and must be submitted at least seven days prior to the employee's entry into Singapore.

Documents required for applications include:

  • Employee's FIN
  • Employee's work pass expiry date
  • Intended date of entry into Singapore
  • Address of the employee's accommodation during his/her stay-home notice (SHN) period
  • Details of a point-of-contact in the company

Pre-depature and arrival measures

Prior to departure from Malaysia, employees are to monitor their health status and refrain from travelling if they feel unwell. They should also ensure the enter on their approved date as stated in both the application and the PCA approval email.

Additionally, they should:

Once allowed to depart, employees are to commute from Malaysia's immigration checkpoint to Singapore's either via personal transport, private buses that only ferry Malaysian passengers who will be serving SHN, or by foot.

For those travelling by personal transport, details on the prevailing Vehicle Entry Permit fees can be found here.

Upon arrival at Singapore's immigration, employees will have to take their personal transport, private buses that only ferry Malaysian passengers who are serving SHN, or taxis and private-hire cars directly from the immigration checkpoint to the declared SHN accommodation, without stopping at any other destination along the journey. They should indicate clearly to the driver that they are serving SHN.

Once at their designated place of SHN accommodation, they should remain they should remain there for at least seven days from their date of entry into Singapore and negative test results, whichever is later. 

Refer here for more information on the COVID-19 swab test arrangements during the SHN. 

Measures to note during the stay in Singapore

Employees will be required to abide by prevailing local public health requirements and safe distancing measures throughout their entire stay in Singapore. They will be required to act on the Ministry of Manpower's SMS, which will be sent within one to three days of their arrival, asking them to download the Homer mobile application and register their mobile number. The employee must have a thermometer to take and report his/her temperature three times a day using the app.

They will be allowed to use public transportation only after completing their SHN period and having tested negative for COVID-19.

Travel from Singapore to Malaysia

Apart from Malaysian citizens and PRs, Singapore citizens and PRs who want to re-enter Malaysia for work will also be eligible for the PCA scheme, the Immigration Department states.

Pre-departure and arrival measures

The employer is to apply for MyTravelPass on behalf of the employee, at least 10 working days prior to their departure. The following documents will be needed for application:

  • Letter of appointment
  • Copy of passport

Upon entering Malaysia, the employee is required to work for at least three consecutive months in the country before returning to Singapore for a short-term home leave, and subsequently re-entering into Malaysia.

Travellers will be subjected to health screening at the point-of-entry, and will be subjected to a modified Home Surveillance Order (HSO) for seven days.

They will then be required to take a COVID-19 RTK Antibody test at the end of the HSO, and will be released if tested negative. They will have to bear the cost of the test.

Similar to the above, these travellers will have to be subscribed to the MySejahtera mobile application while in the country.

Photo / Minister of Foreign Affairs, Malaysia, Dato' Seri Hishammuddin Hussein's Twitter page

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