January 25, 2022
SINGAPORE – BINTAN, Singapore will discuss with Indonesia how it can make the new travel bubble for its visitors to Bintan and Batam a two-way one, hopefully without taking too long, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said on Tuesday (Jan 25).
Mr Lee also said he and President Joko Widodo had agreed both sides should continue discussions to expand air and sea travel more generally, to more destinations in Indonesia.
“But we have to take into account the Covid-19 situation, in particular the outbreak of the Omicron variant, and we will do so at a pace that both sides are comfortable with, taking into account our respective public health situations,” he added.
He was speaking at a joint press conference with Mr Widodo at their Leaders’ Retreat in Bintan, a day after Indonesia announced the launch of the travel bubble to the two popular tourist destinations.
On Monday, Coordinating Minister for Economic Affairs Airlangga Hartarto said the Indonesian government was prepared to launch the travel bubble, as Covid-19 cases on the two islands are under control and the required protocols for the bubble had been put in place.
Under the arrangement, travellers from Singapore are allowed to enter Indonesia via Nongsapura ferry terminal in Batam and Bandar Bentan Telani ferry terminal in Bintan.
They must be fully vaccinated and must have stayed in Singapore for at least 14 days prior to their arrival, according to a circular by Indonesia’s Covid-19 task force.
They must also show a negative polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test taken within three days before departing Singapore and take another when they arrive in Indonesia, among other requirements.
Last November, Singapore launched a unilateral vaccinated travel lane (VTL) for travellers arriving from Jakarta on designated flights.