SINGAPORE: With the launch of Singapore's first vaccinated travel lane (VTL) via sea on Friday (Feb 25) to Batam and Bintan in Indonesia, those planning to visit these destinations can now look forward to two-way quarantine-free travel.
The travel bubble is, for now, limited to trips between Singapore’s Tanah Merah Ferry Terminal and the Nongsapura International Ferry Terminal in Batam as well as the Bandar Bintan Telani Ferry Terminal in Bintan.
CNA journalists Vanessa Lim and Jeremy Long made a quick trip to Batam to check out the process, and came back with some tips for a smooth travel experience.
CHECK AND PREPARE ALL NECESSARY DOCUMENTS
Do plan ahead and give yourself enough time to get ready all the necessary documents, such as travel insurance with COVID-19 coverage and a pre-departure polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test – both of which could take several days to prepare.
What do I need to prepare?
Download Indonesia’s COVID-19 tracing PeduliLindungi app and complete your profile, including details such as your citizenship, passport number and date of birth
Verify your vaccination certificate using this link. You must have received a complete dose of COVID-19 vaccine administered at least 14 days before departure. Do note that it could take a few days for your verification request to be approved, so be sure to get that done ahead of time
If possible, print out hard copies of your pre-departure PCR test result (to be done within 72 hours of departure), proof of hotel booking in the Nongsa area and certificate of health insurance with a minimum coverage value of S$30,000. This will save you the trouble of having to pass your phone to the authorities for them to review the documents
Before arriving in Batam, make sure you complete the EHAC form on the PeduliLindungi app. You will need to include the ship’s name and number, as well as digital copies of your vaccination certificates and the dates of your doses
BRING MOTION SICKNESS PILLS
If you’re prone to seasickness, bring some motion sickness pills as the waters can get a bit choppy during the boat trip to and fro Batam.
BRING MOSQUITO REPELLENT AND ITCH-RELIEF CREAM
This is something we badly wished we had brought. There were many mosquitoes in the Nongsa area and we had to sometimes stand in open-air spaces, such as while waiting for our on-arrival PCR test results. For extra protection from those pesky mozzies, opt for long pants and long-sleeve shirts.
FILL UP ARRIVAL CARD BEFORE ARRIVING IN SINGAPORE
For your return trip to Singapore, be sure to fill up the SG Arrival Card within three days prior to the date of your arrival. This will help to avoid unnecessary delays during immigration clearance.
You will also have to do a supervised, self-administered antigen rapid test (ART) at a Quick Test Centre or at a Combined Test Centre within 24 hours of your arrival in Singapore. You can book an appointment using this link.
You will need to bring either your NRIC or your passport for verification. The test costs S$15 (inclusive of GST) and only cashless payment is accepted.