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Travelling To Malaysia: 11 Things To Take Note When You Finally Cross The Causeway

Time to stretch your Sing dollars

Despite being a country of under six million people, we share one of the world’s busiest land borders with our neighbouring country, Malaysia. The Johor-Singapore Causeway serves as a gateway for over 300,000 travellers crossing daily.

After a two-year restriction, from 1 April 2022, vaccinated travellers from Singapore were allowed to 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. It takes around one to two weeks to process your application upon submission to ICA, so be sure to apply well in advance of your travel.

Read Also: What To Do When Your Passport And Belongings Are Stolen While You Are Travelling 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 RM340 for $100 (at the time of writing).

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. Instead, why not apply for a multi-currency card like YouTrip or Revolut to avoid the hassle of exchanging physical cash and still enjoy competitive exchange rates?

Receive a $5 welcome credit by using the promo code DNS5” when you apply for a YouTrip account, or get $15 topped up in your account when you sign up with Revolut today.

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.

[Update]: With the easing of the Covid-19 measures in Malaysia from 1 May 2022, the use of the MySejahtera app is no longer required.]

#4 No Pre-Departure And On-Arrival Testing Required

If you are not vaccinated yet, this may incentivise you.

Fully vaccinated travellers 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.

[Update]: From 1 August 2022, all travellers, regardless of their vaccination status, are allowed to enter Malaysia without any requirement for a pre-departure or on-arrival Covid-19 test.]

#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: Rapid Transit System (RTS)]

But for now, travellers can use 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 public and private transport maybe your safest option. Furthermore, you can also consider taking the KTM Shuttle Tebrau service, but be sure to book your tickets early to avoid disappointment.

[Update]: From April 1 2022, Causeway Link will run a cross-border shuttle service between BSI CIQ and Woodlands CIQ daily. The services on the Singapore side start at 6.30am and end at 10.30pm. It costs $2 if you are boarding from Singapore and RM2 if you are boarding from Johor.]

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.

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.

[Update]: From 5 July 2023, wearing face masks on public transport and at healthcare facilities will no longer be mandatory.]

#10 Apply For MACS 2.0 If You Frequently Travel To JB Via Public Transport

Singaporeans (except Malaysians permanent residents) can apply for the Malaysia Automated Clearance System (MACS 2.0) from 20 February 2023. This allows for faster immigration clearance for frequent travellers with the MACS pass, as they will no longer need to stamp on entry and exit.

You would need to fill out and submit the MDAC three days prior to your arrival in Malaysia. Thereafter, you need to enroll and verify your passport one-time at the manual immigration counter. Once enrolled, you can use the Malaysia E-gate facilities on your subsequent visit to Malaysia.

Read Also: Singapore Guide To Applying For The Malaysia Automated Clearance System (MACS 2.0) Pass

#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 travellers, including Singaporeans, permanent residents, and long-term pass (LTP) holders. You can complete your SG Arrival Card online or download the official “SG Arrival Card” mobile application.

[Update] Good News! From 15 April 2022, the online health declaration would NOT be required for fully vaccinated Singapore residents and LTP holders arriving in Singapore via the land borders.

This completes what you need to know and prepare before you cross the Causeway.

This article was first published on 13 April 2022 and was updated with latest information.

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