Singapore, Malaysia reopen land border, Indonesia bans arrivals from 11 countries hinh anh 1Trucks line up in Singapore and Malaysia's shared border area. (Photo: AFP/VNA)
Hanoi (VNA) – Singapore and Malaysia on November 29 reopened their shared land borders, allowing vaccinated travellers to cross after nearly two years of being shut down due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Malaysian Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob is making his first official visit to Singapore as premier the same day. As part of his visit, Ismail will witness the launch of the Vaccinated Travel Lane (VTL) between Singapore and Malaysia together with Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.

The much-anticipated land VTL will allow up to 1,440 travellers from each side to cross the land border each day without quarantine, if they hold citizenship, permanent residency or long-term visas in the destination country.

However, travellers must test negative for COVID-19 before departure, and Malaysia also requires travellers to get an on-arrival test, a move Singapore followed on November 28 over concerns over the Omicron variant.

As many as 300,000 Malaysians commuted daily to Singapore before the pandemic.

The sudden closing of the border in March 2020 left tens of thousands stranded on both sides, separated from families and fearing for their jobs.

Singapore has vaccinated 85 percent of its entire population, while about 80 percent of Malaysia's population has been inoculated.

Meanwhile, Indonesia has banned the entry of travellers who have been in ten African countries and Hong Kong (China) in two weeks to curb the spread of the new coronavirus variant Omicron.

The ten African countries include South Africa, Botswana, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Lesotho, Mozambique, Eswatini, Malawi, Angola and Zambia. The restriction will be evaluated every two weeks.

The policy takes effect on November 29, said Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs of Indonesia Luhut Pandjaitan, adding that Indonesian citizens entering Indonesia from the listed African countries and Hong Kong will also now have to quarantine in designated facilities for 14 days./.