Man travelling from M’sia via land VTL tests positive for Covid-19 in S’pore – Mothership.SG


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A male passenger travelling from Malaysia to Singapore via the land-based Vaccinated Travel Lane (VTL) tested positive for Covid-19 upon arrival in the city-state on Nov. 30, Shin Min Daily News reported.

News of the incident stemmed from a Chinese newspaper reader’s anonymous tip-off.

According to the tip-off, the incident was witnessed after the reader took the bus from Larkin Sentral Bus Terminal in Johor Bahru, Malaysia to Singapore.

Sudden commotion at waiting area

The news provider claimed that she took the 6:45pm bus operated by Handal Indah, also known as Causeway Link, and reached Singapore at about 8:15pm, Shin Min reported.

The woman traveller said there were seven people on the bus, which was designated to ferry the passengers to Queen Street Bus Terminal.

Everything appeared normal, but there was a sudden commotion when the travellers were waiting for their Covid-19 test results at the waiting area upon arriving in Singapore, the traveller who provided the tip-off said.

“Everyone there was wondering what was going on when the workers suddenly panicked and yelled at the medical personnel,” she added.

Subsequently, a male traveller in a white t-shirt was told to isolate himself from the rest.

Man looked bewildered

The woman who provided the tip-off claimed that she was told by the medical personnel that the male traveller had tested positive for Covid-19, Shin Min reported.

She added that he looked bewildered when he was sitting there alone: “The medical personnel did not approach the guy, but told him to leave the waiting area and to isolate himself from the rest of the bus passengers.”

The witness also said the other passengers who took a different bus were able to leave the waiting area.

According to Shin Min, the male passenger is believed to have been travelling alone and did not mingle with other passengers on board.

Malaysia detected Covid-19 case on first day of VTL

On the first day that the VTL was launched, Malaysian Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin said there was a Covid-19 positive case detected among travellers from Singapore who had entered Malaysia.

As a precaution, travellers who are entering Singapore via the land-based VTL will have to do pre-departure testing and produce a negative test result upon arrival.

In view of the new Omicron Covid-19 variant, land-based VTL travellers must take a second antigen rapid test (ART) upon arriving in Singapore as well.

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Top image via Shin Min Daily News & Mothership





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‘Welcome home’: First VTL travellers arriving in Johor by bus look forward to family reunions, long-awaited time off


TEETHING ISSUES

As we crossed the empty Causeway, the skyline of Johor Bahru came into view along with a large “welcome home” sign and familiar sights such as City Square shopping mall.

We then disembarked at Bangunan Sultan Iskandar for our final immigration checks – this was when teething issues surfaced.

After grabbing our luggage, we were clustered around the foot of two escalators which had yet to be turned on, while cleaners swept the bus platform. Amid the confusion, several travellers started taking the stairs and making a detour for the lift, only for all of us to be eventually shepherded back into a group.

After some waiting, the Malaysian immigration officers performed a headcount by reading out our names from the passenger manifest, before allowing us to take the now functional escalator to the arrival hall.

The immigration hall was clearly split into VTL and non-VTL zones. Passport checks were relatively uneventful, although Malaysian citizens who are also Singapore permanent residents were asked to show their Singapore identification cards. I thankfully had mine on hand but another person had to double back to collect it from his travel partner.

The immigration officer asked for my passport and also looked at hard copies of my bus ticket, ART results and vaccination certificate. I also flashed my MySejahtera app for good measure.

Although soft copies of documents are permitted, the journey seems to be smoother if you have hardcopies on hand. Another plus – it minimises having to hand your mobile phone to others.

After this was baggage check, where those with “large bags” were stopped. I unzipped my oversized duffel and was let through quickly after I explained what I had packed. To my right, a man was held up after the Customs officer unearthed a few boxes of what looked like children’s toys. The officer then informed the man that he may have to pay a tax on the items. Another tip – keep receipts for any gifts handy.

The escalator leading back down to the bus bay was not working, leaving us to slowly descend with our heavy bags. One more tip – wear good shoes.



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