Decision to suspend ticket sales for VTL to curb Omicron variant – Hasni


JOHOR BAHRU – The decision by the Malaysian and Singapore governments to temporarily suspend the sale of bus and flight tickets under the Vaccinated Travel Lane (VTL) is a precautionary measure to curb the spread of the new COVID-19 variant Omicron.

Johor Menteri Besar Datuk Hasni Mohammad said he hoped the suspension would be temporary and be lifted once the situation returns to normal with the decline in the Omicron variant cases in Singapore.

“But what is important now is that the VTL is not closed as it is the commitment made by both countries which at the same time gives confidence to Johor to reopen all sectors including tourism,” he told reporters after a flag-off ceremony of Johor UMNO Youth and the people of Johor flood relief contribution at the State Liaison Office, here today.

On Wednesday (Dec 22), Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin announced that the sale of ground tickets and VTL flights was temporarily suspended from Dec 23 to Jan 20 next year, and would reopen after a risk assessment was made based on the current COVID-19 situation in both countries.

The decision, he said, took into consideration a report of the Singapore Health Ministry on Dec 20 after a local COVID-19 cluster involving three positive cases was detected.   

Meanwhile, when asked to comment on flood preparations Hasni said the state government has allocated RM27 million for the upgrading of the drainage system and RM32 million for maintenance, adding that with the allocation, maintenance of affected roads or flood-prone areas could be done accordingly.