Singapore and Malaysia to reopen business travel next month

Singapore and Malaysia to reopen business travel next month

FILE PHOTO: A view of the empty Woodlands Causeway between Singapore and Malaysia after Malaysia imposed a travel lockdown due to the coronavirus outbreak, March 18, 2020.REUTERS/Edgar Su/File Photo

SINGAPORE (Reuters) – Singapore and Malaysia said on Tuesday they would resume essential business and official travel between the two countries, allowing people to transit for the first time since most movements were suspended in March due to the coronavirus.

The two neighboring countries are also working on travel arrangements for residents holding long-term immigration passes to conduct business and work in the other country, their foreign ministries said in a joint statement.

They said they hoped to launch the exchange on Aug. 10, adding that they also agreed to develop other plans for cross-border mobility, including for workers’ daily commutes.

Before borders were closed to people to stop the spread of the novel coronavirus, tens of thousands of Malaysians commuted daily to affluent Singapore to work in businesses ranging from restaurants to semiconductor manufacturing.

Malaysia is also a major source of food staples for Singapore, which imports more than 90 percent of its food supply, and goods have been crossing the border since restrictions on people were imposed in mid-March.

Reporting by Aradhana Aravindan in Singapore; Editing by Robert Bursell

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