One of the world’s busiest border crossings, the Causeway saw hours-long queues as people tried to enter Singapore from Johor Bahru in the final hours before Malaysia’s travel restrictions to curb the spread of COVID-19 came into force on Wednesday (Mar 18).

A couple with a baby outside Singapore’s Woodlands Checkpoint shortly after midnight Wednesday (Mar 18), shortly after Malaysia’s new travel restrictions took effect.
(Photo: Try Sutrisno Foo)

SINGAPORE: Commuters on the Causeway endured hours-long queues to enter Singapore from Johor Bahru before Malaysia’s new travel restrictions to curb the spread of COVID-19 took effect on midnight of Wednesday (Mar 18).

For the next two weeks, Malaysia will bar citizens from going overseas and foreigners from entering the country, part of a movement control order that was announced by Malaysian Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin on Monday night, amid a spike in COVID-19 cases in the country.

Traffic at Causeway Johor Singapore on Mar 17, 2020

Traffic on the Causeway, as seen from Singapore on Mar 17, 2020, several hours before Malaysia’s travel restrictions came into effect. (Photo: Hanidah Amin) 

READ: Flow of goods, food supplies, cargo to continue between Singapore and Malaysia, PM Lee says

Outside JB Sentral in Johor Bahru, traffic heading towards Singapore slowed to a near-standstill in the hours before the restrictions came into force.

Pedestrians, some carrying large suitcases, were seen walking across the Causeway to Singapore as well. 

Traffic on the Causeway remained gridlocked past midnight, and an ambulance, with sirens wailing, was seen trying to make its way through the traffic. 

Outside Woodlands Checkpoint in Singapore, those who had made the crossing were seen trying to get on public buses or waiting by the kerb for private transport. 

Crowds after crossing Causeway ahead of Malaysia's COVID-19 travel restrictions 4

Commuters boarding a bus outside Singapore’s Woodlands Checkpoint shortly after midnight Wednesday (Mar 18). (Photo: Try Sutrisno Foo)

Crowds after crossing Causeway ahead of Malaysia's COVID-19 travel restrictions 3

Commuters boarding a bus for Queen Street, after arriving in Singapore ahead of Malaysia’s new travel restrictions. (Photo: Try Sutrisno Foo)

READ: Singapore firms rush to house Malaysian workers before COVID-19 travel restrictions kick in

READ: Companies affected by Malaysia travel restrictions to get financial support, Minister Josephine Teo says

Crowds after crossing Causeway ahead of Malaysia's COVID-19 travel restrictions

People at Woodlands Checkpoint waiting for private transport after crossing the Causeway ahead of Malaysia’s new travel restrictions. (Photo: Try Sutrisno Foo)

Crowds after crossing Causeway ahead of Malaysia's COVID-19 travel restrictions 7

Outside Singapore’s Woodlands Checkpoint shortly after midnight Wednesday (Mar 18), after Malaysia’s new travel restrictions came into force.
(Photo: Try Sutrisno Foo)

By 2am, the traffic on the Causeway had dwindled significantly, with mostly heavy vehicles left awaiting entry into Singapore. 

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Crowds after crossing Causeway ahead of Malaysia's COVID-19 travel restrictions 1

People outside Singapore’s Woodlands Checkpoint shortly after midnight Wednesday (Mar 18), after crossing the Causeway ahead of Malaysia’s new travel restrictions.
(Photo: Try Sutrisno Foo)

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