Quarantine-free travel resumed between Singapore and the nearby Indonesian islands of Batam and Bintan on Monday, as the countries continue to prise open their borders despite rising Covid-19 cases.
The travel bubble arrangement, which is open to fully-vaccinated and insured visitors, will help boost tourism and other parts of the economy, Indonesia’s Coordinating Minister for Economic Affairs Airlangga Hartarto said in an online briefing. It covers people traveling by sea between Singapore and Nongsapura Ferry Terminal in Batam and Bintan Telani Port, he said.
Batam and Bintan were popular weekend getaways for Singapore residents prior to the pandemic. The coronavirus crisis has taken a toll. Overseas visitors to the two Indonesian islands slumped 86% back in 2020, cutting the income of food and accommodation businesses by 41%, the government said last March. Bintan Lagoon Resorts closed down in 2020 as the flow of visitors dried up.