Singapore’s Prime Minister, Lee Hsien Loong said today (25 Jan) that more talks are still needed between the authorities of both Indonesia and Singapore before the two countries can allow a two way travel without quarantine between Batam, Bintan and Singapore.
Singapore proposed VTL to Indonesia
During the talks, Singapore had also brought up the idea of having a bilateral vaccinated travel lane (VTL) to more places in Indonesia beyond just both Batam and Bintan.
PM Lee mentioned that Singapore had proposed a VTL with Jakarta while Indonesia had also proposed a VTL for both Batam and Bintan.
The Indonesian counterparts when speaking about the travel bubble shown their desire for more visitors to Batam and Bintan.
PM Lee also said that Singapore would like to hold further talks about what was discussed and Indonesia had also like to hold further talks about their proposals.
Quarantine free travel corridor
Indonesia had on Monday announced a quarantine free travel corridor allowing Singaporeans to travel to Batam and Bintan for holiday.
However, they are only limited to the Nongsa resort in Batam and the Lagoi resort in Bintan without being allowed to go anywhere else.
This travel corridor will only apply to Singaporeans going to Indonesia and not Indonesians coming to Singapore.
A negative test result must be shown 72 hours prior to departure from Singapore and another time on arrival to either Batam’s or Bintan’s ferry terminal.
President of Indonesia, Joko Widodo, said that the two countries are currently finalising some cooperation on vaccine recognition and on ensuring that the platforms that both countries have to track and protect people from the virus can work simultaneously together.
PM Lee also noted that the situation in Singapore currently is worser than Indonesia and it is not surprising that Indonesia have concerns.
He adds that the pandemic situation in both countries is quite volatile and sometimes one of our countries might be worser off and therefore it is not that easy for both sides to be comfortable with opening up.
He also further mentions that Singapore’s VTL proposal will also depend on the situation in both countries.
He notes that Indonesia might not be ready to talk about the proposals yet but feels that discussions should still carry on so that when the time is ready, they can implement it.
With regards to Indonesia’s hopes for Batam and Bintan to be a success, Singapore is ready to discuss with them together with the transport ministers of both sides to see how can the process be quicken.
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