Indonesia is taking initial steps to reopen its borders, after halting travel to and from other countries during the Covid-19 pandemic. Measures include setting up a travel bubble, where countries that have managed to contain Covid-19 outbreaks will open their borders to allow travel and free movement within this corridor. “We will establish the travel bubble with China, South Korea, Japan and Australia” said the Cooordinating Maritime Affairs and Investment Ministry’s Undersecretary for Tourism and Creative Economy Odo R.M Manuhutu in a virtual press conference last Friday (12/6).
“These countries have been chosen (for the travel bubble) because of their substantial investments and tourist numbers to Indonesia. While we will start with business travelers, we hope to gradually extend it to tourists” said Odo. “The bubble will change how tourists travel” he said. “This might include direct flights to Indonesia, such as from Seoul to Jakarta or Bali, or Osaka to Bali. This will avoid transits, especially lengthy transits, which leave open the possibility of (Covid-19) transmission.”
Odo added that the government is still discussing criteria for the travel bubble/ corridor and ensure that conditions can be agreed upon with other countries before they can sign any deals. “The bubble will come into effect 2 to 4 weeks after they agreements are signed. Even then, certain aspects such as health, security and technical preparations need to be taken into consideration” he noted.