KUALA LUMPUR (Dec 3): The Malaysia-Singapore vaccinated travel lane (VTL) by land and air, which was launched on Monday (Nov 29), continues for now despite Malaysia detecting its first case involving the Omicron variant of Covid-19 after a South African national tested positive for it, Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin said on Friday.
"The VTL with Singapore continues for now," Khairy said in a statement which was issued to reporters in conjunction with his press conference.
At the press conference, Khairy said: “I have spoken to my Singaporean counterpart this morning Mr Ong Ye Kung (Singapore Health Minister), and we reaffirmed that the VTL will continue and we will continue to update each other on a daily basis and coordinate our responses accordingly.”
Malaysia and Singapore launched the air and land VTL, which allows travellers who have completed their Covid-19 vaccinations to enter both counties without having to undergo quarantine upon arrival in Malaysia and Singapore.
On the first Omicron case in Malaysia, Khairy said the South African national is a 19-year-old student studying at a private university in Ipoh, Perak.
According to him, comprehensive contact tracing involving passengers on the aeroplane the South African national boarded to come to Malaysia as well as those within the Kuala Lumpur International Airport's (KLIA) check-in area was done.
Meanwhile, Bernama reported that Khairy said the temporary ban on travellers from eight countries, namely South Africa, Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia, Zimbabwe and Malawi, will continue.
For international tourists participating in the Langkawi Tourism Bubble, travellers arriving from all countries must undergo additional Covid-19 detection tests, namely on the third and fifth day from the date of arrival, with professional RTK-Ag testing, according to him.
As an additional preventive measure, he said travellers arriving from high-risk countries at the international checkpoint in KLIA would be required to wear a digital tracker device during the Order for Supervision and Observation period.
He said a list of high-risk countries would be provided by the Ministry of Health through risk evaluations.