Indonesia asks Singapore to reopen borders as Bintan ‘ready to receive tourists’

04-Jul-2020 Intellasia | JakartaPost | 6:02 AM Print This Post

The Indonesian government has asked Singapore to soon reopen its borders, particularly those that connect the city state to the tourist areas of Bintan and Batam in Riau Islands, which have been closed for months due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

In his visit to Batam on Thursday, Coordinating Maritime Affairs and Investment minister Luhut Pandjaitan made a phone call with Singaporean Foreign minister Vivian Balakhrisnan, requesting the latter to reopen the Singaporean borders that serve as entry points to Bintan and Batam.

The senior minister said Vivian agreed to review Indonesia’s request after Singapore’s general election, which will be held on July 10.

“I had a phone call with Foreign minister Vivian because there was a request from Lagoi, Bintan, that they are ready to receive tourists as they now have zero COVID-19 cases,” Luhut said. “Vivian mentioned that after [Singapore] concludes the general election, they will review [our request] and they will probably send tourists back here afterward.”

Singapore’s borders closed in March to short-term visitors.

The Indonesian mission in Singapore said that the city-state would close access in and out until December this year, tribunnews.com reported.

Border closures have impacted tourism and the economy in Riau Islands, which depends largely on Singaporean tourists.

Malls in Batam have been a lot quieter than usual, as ferry operators serving the Batam-Singapore route have reduced the number of trips due to plummeting passenger numbers.

Batam’s shopping centers are popular stopovers for Singaporeans who visit Batam to buy what they need before going back home across the Singapore Strait.

“I had a phone call with Foreign minister Vivian because there was a request from Lagoi, Bintan, that they are ready to receive tourists as they now have zero COVID-19 cases,” Luhut said. “Vivian mentioned that after [Singapore] concludes the general election, they will review [our request] and they will probably send tourists back here afterward.”

Singapore’s borders closed in March to short-term visitors.

The Indonesian mission in Singapore said that the city-state would close access in and out until December this year, tribunnews.com reported.

Border closures have impacted tourism and the economy in Riau Islands, which depends largely on Singaporean tourists.

Malls in Batam have been a lot quieter than usual, as ferry operators serving the Batam-Singapore route have reduced the number of trips due to plummeting passenger numbers.

Batam’s shopping centers are popular stopovers for Singaporeans who visit Batam to buy what they need before going back home across the Singapore Strait.

https://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2020/07/03/indonesia-asks-singapore-to-reopen-borders-as-bintan-ready-to-receive-tourists.html

 


Category: Indonesia

Print This Post