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 November 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.
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.
More from International
Australia Omicron variant spreads, testing reopening plans
The Omicron coronavirus variant spread in Australia on Saturday, testing plans to reopen the economy as a cluster in Sydney grew to 13 cases and an infection was suspected in the state of Queensland.
Lebanon's information minister quits to ease Gulf dispute
Lebanon's information minister resigned on Friday, saying he was putting the country before his personal interest to help end a diplomatic dispute brought on by his comments.
WHO says vaccination, not travel curbs, key to battling Omicron
The World Health Organisation (WHO) urged countries to boost healthcare capacity and vaccinate their people to fight a surge in COVID-19 cases driven by the Omicron variant, and said travel curbs could buy time but alone were not the answer.
Indian doctors strike as Omicron sparks fears of third wave of COVID-19
India reported 9,216 new COVID-19 infections on Friday after announcing its first two Omicron cases the previous day, as groups of resident doctors stayed away from non-critical work to demand new post-graduate students be enrolled to boost staffing.
Japan quells fears of Mt Fuji eruption after earthquake
Japanese authorities on Friday damped down speculation about a possible volcanic eruption at Mt Fuji, the nation's highest peak, after a 4.8 magnitude earthquake sent the topic trending on Twitter.