Asia Pacific

Singapore, Malaysia to open land border for vaccinated travelers

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Commuters leave the Woodlands Causeway across to Singapore from Johor, hours before Malaysia imposes a lockdown on travel due to the coronavirus outbreak, in Singapore March 17, 2020. REUTERS/Edgar Su/File Photo

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SINGAPORE, Nov 24 (Reuters) - Singapore and Malaysia will next week launch a quarantine-free travel lane at their land border crossing, one of the world's busiest, for people vaccinated against COVID-19, the two countries said on Wednesday.

The plan, effective Nov. 29, expands an already announced move to start a travel lane for flights between Changi Airport and Kuala Lumpur International Airport from next week.

The land travel lane in the first phase will apply to citizens, permanent residents or long-term pass holders of the country they are entering, to allow people to visit families on the other side of the border, the office of Singapore's prime minister said in a statement.

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The lane will be progressively expanded.

Malaysia announced the creation of the land border travel lane separately on Wednesday.

Singapore, with a population of 5.45 million, relies heavily on Malaysians living in the southern state of Johor to staff businesses ranging from restaurants to semiconductor manufacturing.

Many Malaysians used to commute daily from across the border prior to the pandemic.

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Reporting by Aradhana Aravindan in Singapore and Liz Lee in Kuala Lumpur; Editing by Martin Petty

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