For the first time in five months, Ms Yen was able to return to Kuala Lumpur to see her three children last week. The 46-year-old, who works in a bank in Singapore, said she was initially worried about making the trip home as she wasn’t sure about the risks she would be exposed to and where she would be staying while waiting for her Covid-19 test results.
A divorcee, she had visited her three sons, aged nine, 11 and 16, every week before the pandemic.
Ms Yen, who had requested to be identified by her nickname, had applied for short-term home leave under the Periodic Commuting Arrangement scheme.
She arrived at Woodlands Checkpoint at 5pm last Tuesday and it took her about 45 minutes to walk across the Causeway to the Johor Baru Checkpoint.
She waited an hour for her nasal and throat swab tests to be conducted, before she was taken in a van arranged by the authorities to KSL Resorts and Hotel, where she had to isolate herself while waiting for the Covid-19 test results. The hotel was about 20 minutes’ drive from the JB Checkpoint.
Speaking to The Sunday Times from her KL home last Friday, Ms Yen said: “I was told I could wait up to five days for the results, but I got them in less than two days.”
At about 9.20am last Thursday, she received an e-mail saying she was tested negative for Covid-19. Those who test negative are exempted from stay-home orders. She left the hotel at noon and arrived in KL within four hours.
“In KL, everyone was wearing a mask. Like Singapore, we have to check in and out of places we visit. Most of the people I see are very compliant,” she said.
Even at the rest stops along the North-South Expressway, people were donning masks, she added.
Ms Yen said she paid RM200 (S$65) for the swab tests and RM300 for the two-night hotel stay.
“I find the processes carried out by the Malaysian authorities pretty well controlled. I will go back to see my children again in December,” she said, adding that she is returning to Singapore on Sept 8.
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