Government plans first “travel bubble” with Singapore on Bintan Island


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

“The government is aiming for Bintan to be the first (travel bubble destination). Lagoi is ready to open while enforcing health protocols,” the head of the Riau Islands Tourist Office, Buralimar, said on Saturday during a ‘a webinar.

Lagoi is relatively ready to welcome foreign tourists again, he informed. The management of the tourist area has prepared several efforts to serve travelers during a pandemic, he said.

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

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

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

During the same webinar, Bintan Resort General Manager Abdul Wahab said his team is implementing “Bluepass,” a close contact tracking device for employees. The device can quickly detect close contacts if someone is exposed to COVID-19, he explained.

Resort management also requires guests to check in with QR codes at almost all hotels, resorts and attractions, so that visitors’ mobility can be monitored, he said.

“We are also working with hospitals, because it is the will of the Indonesian Ministry of Health and the Singaporean Ministry of Health,” he said.

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

In addition, the management of the resort will organize a direct evacuation to Singapore if visitors fall ill while on vacation, Wahab said.

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

“We have heard that there are indications that the Indonesian President and the Prime Minister of Singapore will meet at Bintan. So we will try to open Bintan for Singapore before the meeting, “he said.

Read: Batam prepares to welcome foreign tourists as part of travel bubble program

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About Donnie R. Losey

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