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Indonesia is launching a safe travel corridor with Singapore this Friday, but has said that travellers need to be fully vaccinated, test negative on a PCR test and have insurance worth SG$30,000

This story was first published on November 10, 2021, and updated on February 15, 2022. 

Weekend or day trips into Batam and Bintan for shopping trips, spa days and good food seem to be a thing of the past, with borders into Indonesia remaining firmly closed to Singaporeans since the pandemic began.

However, Indonesia recently announced that it will be opening a safe travel corridor to allow Singapore residents to travel into Batam and Bintan and that the first ferry carrying passengers between the cities will depart from Tanah Merah Ferry Terminal on Friday (February 18), according to Indonesia’s Coordinating Minister for Economic Affairs Airlangga Hartarto at a virtual press conference on February 14. 

“Regarding the Batam-Bintan travel bubble, on February 18, the ferries from Singapore will start entering those areas,” he said.

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However, currently, only one ferry a day is scheduled, according to Chairman of Nongsa Sensation Anddy Fong. Each ferry will be able to take about 120 people due to safe distancing measures.

In Batam Nongsapura, Singapore travellers will be separated from domestic tourists to ensure that all health protocols are in place, he added. 

The first ferry is set to depart Tanah Merah at 3 pm Singapore time and arrive in Nongsapura at around 2.40 pm Batam time on Friday, Mr Fong said.

Daily ferries from Nongsapura to Tanah Merah that will depart at 1 pm Batam time will also take place. 

However, it is unclear if there will be a direct ferry service between Singapore and Bintan under the travel bubble.

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Hartarto said in a virtual press conference on January 24  that the Indonesian government decided to establish the travel bubble now because the Covid-19 cases in Batam and Bintan were stable. 

“The government is pushing for a travel bubble between Batam, Bintan and Singapore to encourage tourism activities in Batam [and] Bintan,” he said at that time. 

“The requirements for travellers are [that] they must be vaccinated twice, and have a negative PCR test taken within three days [prior to travel],” continued Mr Hartarto. 

He added that travellers are also required to have insurance worth SG$30,000 and that they must use Pedulilindungi and Blue Pass, Indonesia’s contact tracing programmes, while they are there. 

At the conference on January 24, Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs and Investment Luhut Pandjaitan said that the travel bubble will be evaluated every week to see how it is faring. 

Right now, Singapore has a unilateral vaccinated travel lane (VTL) with Indonesia which was announced on November 29 last year.

At that time, Singapore’s Transport Minister S Iswaran said that he hoped that Indonesia would open their borders to Singapore soon. 

We don’t know about you, but we are all set to pack our suitcases.


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