Govt plans first ‘travel bubble’ with Singapore on Bintan Island

Govt plans first ‘travel bubble’ with Singapore on Bintan Island

The Indonesian government has selected the tourist area of Lagoi in Bintan district for a pilot implementation of a travel corridor or “travel bubble” with Singapore, an official said.

“The government targets Bintan to be the first (travel bubble destination). Lagoi is ready to open while applying health protocols,” head of Tourism Office-Riau Islands, Buralimar, said at a webinar on Saturday.

Lagoi is relatively ready to welcome back foreign tourists, he informed. The tourism area management has prepared several efforts to serve travelers amid the pandemic period, he affirmed.

“We are providing Genose and PCR (to conduct COVID-19 testing). Even there are already clinics providing the PCR test,” he said.

According to Buralimar, in addition to the management’s readiness, Lagoi, which is located in an enclave area, supports the implementation of the “travel bubble”, which is part of an agreement between Indonesia and Singapore.

“We hope tourists will come gradually. (For example), first, we will limit the tourists to 100 people, so as not to cause booming,” he said.

During the same webinar, Bintan Resort general manager Abdul Wahab said his team is setting up ‘Bluepass’, a close-contact-tracking device for employees. The device can quickly detect close contacts if anyone is exposed to COVID-19, he explained.

The resort’s management also requires guests to check in with QR codes in almost every hotel, resort, and attraction ride, so that visitors’ mobility can be monitored, he said.

“We are also working with hospitals, as this is the will of the Indonesian Health Ministry and the Singaporean Health Ministry,” he informed.

The resort management is also cooperating with the Raja Ahmad Tabib Regional Hospital in Tanjungpinang city because its facilities are adequate and have been approved by the Singaporean government, he added.

Furthermore, the resort’s management will arrange a direct evacuation to Singapore if any visitors fall sick during their vacation, Wahab pointed out.

A limited border opening with Singapore was supposed to be implemented in September 2021, he said. However, due to the COVID-19 situation in Singapore, it was postponed until October this year, he added.

“We heard there were some indications saying that the President of Indonesia and the Prime Minister of Singapore would meet in Bintan. So, we will try to open Bintan for Singapore before the meeting,” he said. (ANT)

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