Singapore, Indonesia agree to launch green lane for essential business and official travel
SINGAPORE: Singapore and Indonesia have agreed to set up a reciprocal green lane (RGL) for essential business and official travel between both countries.
Applications for the RGL will open on Oct 26 and travel will start soon after, Singapore's Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) said on Monday (Oct 12).
The agreement comes less than two months after MFA said on Aug 25 that Singapore and Indonesia planned to begin talks for a reciprocal green lane.
Indonesian Foreign Affairs Minister Retno Marsudi told CNA in an exclusive interview last week the two countries were in the final phase of negotiations for the green lane, and that preparations were being made on the ground to facilitate arrivals.
READ: Electronic visas, special counters at Jakarta and Batam among Indonesia's measures for proposed green lane with Singapore
OPEN TO INDONESIAN CITIZENS, SINGAPOREANS AND SINGAPORE RESIDENTS: MFA
MFA said on Monday that Singapore Foreign Affairs Minister Vivian Balakrishnan and Mdm Marsudi have reaffirmed the “excellent and longstanding relations” between Singapore and Indonesia in a telephone conversation.
They also recalled their discussion in August this year on the importance of strengthening mutually beneficial cooperation in overcoming common challenges brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic.
This includes the resumption of essential travel while safeguarding public health and safety in both countries.
"In this context, the ministers welcomed the conclusion of the negotiations," said MFA.
Indonesian citizens as well as Singapore citizens and residents are eligible for the RGL, also referred to by Indonesia as the travel corridor arrangement (TCA), said MFA.
Travellers will have to abide by COVID-19 prevention and public health measures agreed by both countries, including pre-departure and post-arrival polymerase chain reaction (PCR) swab tests from mutually recognised health institutions.
Operational details regarding the RGL, including the procedural requirements, health protocols and application process will be announced "in due course".
READ: Air travel bubbles, more green lanes part of plans for Singapore to ‘revive’ Changi Air Hub amid COVID-19: Ong Ye Kung
TWO POINTS OF ENTRY EACH IN INDONESIA AND SINGAPORE
Mdm Marsudi said at a press conference on Monday that there will be two points of entry in Indonesia for the RGL: Batam Centre Ferry Terminal and Jakarta's Soekarno-Hatta International Airport.
The two entry points for Singapore will be Tanah Merah ferry terminal and Changi Airport, she added.
Travellers will have to take the first PCR test 72 hours before departure, and the second test upon arrival at the airport or ferry terminal. Travellers will bear the costs of the tests, said Mdm Marsudi.
Eligible travellers must also download and register themselves on the TraceTogether and SafeEntry mobile applications while in Singapore, or on the e-HAC and Peduli Lindungi applications while in Indonesia, she added.
Mdm Marsudi said applicants from Indonesia must have a sponsor from a government agency or enterprises in Singapore and request for a SafeTravel pass.
Singaporeans wanting to enter Indonesia must have a sponsor from the government or business entity and apply for a visa online.
As Singapore progressively reopens amid the COVID-19 pandemic, special travel arrangements have been made with some countries and regions.
It now has reciprocal green lane arrangements for essential business and official travel with China, Malaysia, Brunei, South Korea and Japan.
Earlier this month, Singapore Transport Minister Ong Ye Kung said pursuing more green lane arrangements and negotiating air travel bubbles with countries that had low COVID-19 infection rates were among the plans to "revive" Changi Air Hub.
Mr Ong said in a ministerial statement a facility has been set up at Changi Airport to swab up to 10,000 passengers a day.
In the next few months, there are plans to set up a dedicated COVID-19 testing laboratory at the airport to support aviation recovery, he added.
Indonesia reported 4,497 new COVID-10 infections and 79 new deaths on Sunday, the lowest daily fatality count since Sep 27. It now has a total of 333,449 COVID-19 cases, with 11,844 deaths.
Singapore reported 10 new cases on Sunday, taking its national total to 57,876 infections and 27 deaths.