Cover (Image: Ministry of Foreign Affairs SG/Instagram)

This was discussed by the two countries when they met up in Singapore for a two-day-long official trip last weekend

From May 17, travel will be allowed between Singapore and Malaysia on compassionate grounds, according to Foreign Affairs Minister Vivian Balakrishnan in a joint announcement made with Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein, his Malaysian counterpart. He was in Singapore on a two-day official visit

While the details of this arrangement have yet to be released, they will include things like Covid-19 testing and quarantine requirements, the ministers said on Sunday.

(Related: Covid-19 Singapore: Everything We Know About the Tan Tock Seng Hospital Cluster So Far)

Mr Hishammuddin clarified that compassionate grounds referred to situations where people in either country had to travel across the border to deal with critically ill individuals or to attend funerals.

Dr Balakrishnan added that: "When a family crisis occurs, people want to get together. And therefore, bearing in mind this very special close relationship between the people of Singapore and the people of Malaysia, it is necessary to have schemes like this."

They announced that further information will be released soon and that details about the procedures and entry requirements will be released by each country's respective authorities.

At the meeting, the two leaders also discussed the possibility of a potential air travel bubble between Singapore and Malaysia. This comes shortly after Singapore and Hong Kong announced that they would be launching an air travel bubble on May 26.

The countries agreed that an air travel bubble would require more discussions between both Singapore and Malaysia's transport ministers.

In addition, Singapore and Malaysia would continue to work on their respective national vaccination programmes to vaccinate long-term residents, including Malaysians residing in Singapore and Singaporeans residing in Malaysia.

(Related: Vaccine Certificates: Singapore and Malaysia to Work on Establishing Cross-Border Travel)