JAKARTA: Indonesian tourism and creative economy minister Sandiaga Uno said on Saturday (Mar 20) that preparations can begin for a “safe travel corridor” between Singapore, Batam Nongsa and Bintan Lagoi.
In a meeting with officials in Batam, the minister proposed that the travel corridor begin on Apr 21, especially for Nongsa in Batam and Lagoi in Bintan which, prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, were destinations frequented by Singapore residents.
Mr Uno said there is a direct route that connects Singapore’s ferry terminal with Nongsapura ferry terminal in Batam as well as Bandar Bintan Telani ferry terminal in Bintan.
“I have tried all the routes and we can immediately prepare this for the opening of the safe travel corridor with Singapore," said Mr Uno.
Foreign tourists who want to enter the two areas are expected to have a negative polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test result and will have to take a COVID-19 breath test detector, known locally as GeNose, upon arrival.
"There will also be an application where we can not only trace, but also track the movement of tourists," Mr Uno added.
READ: Without tourists from Singapore, Bintan's resorts get creative to make ends meet amid COVID-19
Separately on Saturday, Mr Uno observed the vaccination of tourism workers in Batam.
He hopes that by vaccinating workers and residents in Nongsa, Batam and Lagoi, Bintan, the ‘safe travel corridor’ can be implemented.
"Today in Batam there are 1,500 tourism workers who got vaccinated in Batam and more than 2,000 people in Bintan. The target is 30,000 which we must vaccinate before April for the safe travel corridor.
“Let’s spread the good news to Singapore and Malaysia, so they plan their holiday to Batam and Bintan," said the minister.
CNA has sought comment from Singapore’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs.