Despite being a country of under six million people, we share one of the world’s busiest land borders with our neighboring country, Malaysia. The Johor-Singapore Causeway serves as a gateway for over 300,000 travelers crossing daily.
After a two-year restriction, from 1 April 2022vaccination travelers from Singapore can cross the Causeway on their private transport without the need for quarantine or COVID-19 tests.
This is welcome news for people on both sides. Singaporeans in particular can finally visit their holiday homes, eat cheap seafood, shop for their groceries and (dare we say) pump petrol like they used to.
Before you rush down, here are 11 things you must prepare before crossing the Causeway.
#1 Have A Valid Passport
Unless you have taken a holiday during the pandemic period, the first thing you should check is whether your passport is still valid.
You need a validity period of at least 6 months from the date of entry to enter Malaysia.
Previously, Singapore passports had a validity period of 5 years. However, from 1 October 2021, the validity period has been increased to 10 years. It costs the same $70 to renew.
If your passport has expired, you can renew it online at ICA’s website. However, expect a longer processing time as many Singaporeans, like yourself, are also getting their passports renewed since the news was released.
Read Also: What To Do When Your Passport And Belongings Are Stolen While You Are Traveling Overseas?
#2 Change Your Currency
Money changers in Singapore are probably one group of people who do not have to cross the borders to rejoice about the reopening.
The current exchange rate at local money changers is around RM310 for $100.
While you may get an equivalent rate in Malaysia, there is no assurance that your go-to money changer is still operating or will offer a better rate.
Read Also: Should We Rejoice When The Malaysian Ringgit Slumps?
#3 Download MySejahtera App
Next, you may want to download the MySejahtera app on your phone.
The MySejahtera app is Malaysia’s equivalent of our TraceTogether app. The app was developed by the Malaysian government to facilitate contact tracing efforts and serves as a vaccine passport.
You need to register and activate the app before heading to the Causeway. The app is available for download from the Google Play Store and the Apple App Store.
Remember to flash the right app to check-in when you are in Johor.
#4 No Pre-Departure And On-Arrival Testing Required
If you are not vaccinated yet, this may incentise you.
Fully vaccinated travelers crossing land borders are exempted from having both pre-departure and on-arrival testing. Also, children aged 12 and below can travel without the need to show proof of vaccination.
Do note that if you are 60 years and above, you are required to have the third booster shot to be considered fully vaccinated by the Malaysian authorities. This applies to the following commonly administered vaccinations: Moderna, Pfizer, Sinopharm, and Sinovac.
#5 No Need To Have COVID-19 Travel Insurance
Previously, all short-term foreign visitors were required by the Malaysian government to have COVID-19 travel insurance. However, in a recent change in stance, from 1 April 2022, all fully vaccinated short-term visitors from Singapore do not need to have COVID-19 travel insurance.
That said, you should not neglect your car insurance. If your current coverage is limited to third-party only, you may want to reconsider extending it to third-party fire and theft before crossing the Causeway. We have all heard the many horror stories from local motorists about car thefts in Malaysia. You do not want to be the next one telling yours.
Read Also: 5 Reasons Getting A COVID-19 Vaccination Is Similar To Buying An Insurance Policy
#6 You Can Cross The Causeway By Bus, Private Transport Or Walk
How we all wish there was a better and faster way to cross the 1 km long Johor-Singapore Causeway. [hint: High-Speed Rail (HSR) and Rapid Transit System (RTS)]
But for now, though, travelers can use Vaccinated Travel Bus services, other public transport services like chartered factory buses, private motorcars, and motorcycles. Furthermore, the Malaysian government has also permitted pedestrians to walk across the Causeway.
However, crossing the Causeway using private transport maybe your safest option. There is still no news on the availability of public transport bus services like 170. Furthermore, due to upgrading works, the KTM Shuttle Tebrau service will be unavailable at least until May 2022.
Read Also: 7 Ways The Johor Bahru–Singapore Rail Transit System (RTS) Benefit Singapore’s Economy And People
#7 Remember To Fill Up Your Petrol Tank
Let’s be real, now is probably not the best time to head to Johor just to pump petrol.
But you know the drill. All Singapore-registered vehicles are required to have a minimum of three-quarters of motor fuel before leaving Singapore via land checkpoints.
Fuel prices might be going up, but that should not be an excuse to break the law. A motorist not following the rules can be fined up to $500 or prosecuted in court.
Read Also: How Much Can You Really Save Pumping Petrol In JB?
#8 Register For VEP And Top-Up Touch’n Go Card
All Singapore-registered vehicles need to register and obtain a foreign vehicle entry permit (VEP) before they can enter Malaysia. This will enable them to pay Road Charges (RM20) using their Touch’nGo cards. If you have not registered, you may do so here.
You also want to make sure that your Touch’n Go card is valid and has sufficient value to pay the toll charges.
Note: All Singapore-registered private vehicles will be exempted from paying toll charges and the Road Charge (RC) when entering Malaysia from 1 April to 7 April 2022. This is to facilitate a quicker border crossover for vehicles.
Read Also: What Happens If Your Singapore Car Gets Stolen In Malaysia?
#9 Wearing Masks In Outdoor Settings Is Mandatory In Malaysia
Once you get to Malaysia, do not, in your excitement, take off your mask in public places. Unlike Singapore, where wearing of masks in outdoor settings is now optional, you still need to wear your mask in Malaysia.
#10 Ramadan Starts From 2 April And Ends 2 May 2022
For the foodies out there, expect some of your usual F & B joints to be closed when you get to Johor, as many were affected by the 2-years of lockdown measures.
Also, the reopening coincides with Ramadan, which starts on 2 April and ends on 2 May 2022. It is a period where Muslims are required to fast from dawn to dusk.
As Malaysia is a Muslim-majority country, expect certain F & B businesses to be closed during the first half of the day. That is provided they have not wound up already due to the pandemic.
#11 Complete Your SG Arrival Card After Arriving Back To Singapore
Last but not least, regardless of how you feel when you return, you must complete the SG Arrival Card within 3 days of arriving in Singapore.
This applies to all travelers, including Singaporeans, permanent residents, and long-term pass holders. You can complete your SG Arrival Card online or download the official “SG Arrival Card” mobile application.
This completes what you need to know and prepare before you cross the Causeway.
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