The government of Indonesia has a plan to speed up vaccinations in Bali, Bintan, and Batam areas to halt the spread of the coronavirus.
Indonesia aims to welcome back foreign tourists to the resort islands by the end of July 2021.
Now, the government is in talks with Singapore, China, South Korea, India, the Netherlands, and the United Arab Emirates for potential travel bubbles that will allow their nationals to visit Indonesia’s so-called “green zones”, or sites that have curbed Covid-19 infections and vaccinated a significant portion of their local population said tourism and creative economy minister Sandiaga Uno.
Ukraine and Poland had also submitted requests to Indonesia, guaranteeing a set number of tourists that could travel to the Southeast Asian nation on charter flights, Uno said. This would ease a government ban imposed since March 2020, prohibiting most foreign nationals from entering or transiting through Indonesia during the pandemic.
Indonesia joins the likes of Thailand and Hong Kong in considering allowing limited foreign travel to support their ailing tourist industries. Like its neighbors, though, slower-than-expected inoculation and fears of a resurgence in Covid-19 cases are throwing a spanner in the works.
Batam and Bintan, part of the Riau Islands just south of Singapore, had hoped to start receiving travelers from the city-state by April 21, but that would likely be delayed as discussions continue on health protocols, Uno said.
Other tourist sites being considered for the travel corridor program to include Yogyakarta, Belitung Island and Lake Toba in Sumatra, Borobudur Temple in Central Java, Labuan Bajo fishing town in eastern Indonesia, and Likupang in Sulawesi, which caters to Chinese tourists.