JOHOR BARU: The fate of the Vaccinated Travel Lane (VTL) for air and land will be decided at least 48 hours before Jan 20 next year when the temporary suspension of the scheme is expected to end.

Transport Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wee Ka Siong said the decision on whether the temporary suspension would continue or the VTL-Air and VTL-Land will continue operating depended on the current situation then.

“It is still too early to tell as there is another three weeks or so until then.

“What we know is that the quota will be reduced but it all depends on the Covid-19 situation at the time such as the emergence of Omicron or other variants.

“Then we will make an evaluation on that,” he said in a press conference after chairing a two-hour meeting with the Johor MCA liaison committee on Thursday (Dec 30).

He added that his Singaporean counterpart S. Iswaran had contacted him on Dec 21 to formally inform him of the island republic’s decision to impose limits on the number of VTL arrivals temporarily.

He said the government will continue to work closely with the Singapore Ministry of Transport as partners to look after the development and sustainability of transport links between Malaysia and Singapore.

All sales of bus and air tickets from Malaysia to Singapore under the VTL had been suspended from Dec 23 until Jan 20 following the island republic’s decision to freeze cross-border travel due to the rising number of imported Covid-19 cases.

However, all travellers who already hold flight or bus tickets for VTL and have met the VTL requirements can continue to travel under the lane.

On Dec 20, the Singapore Health Ministry issued a statement regarding a local Covid-19 cluster involving three positive cases.

Further tests showed two of them might have the Omicron variant while the result for the other case was still pending.

All three did not have any history of overseas travel.